After my dad’s sudden death, I made the tough, but soul-aligned decision to continue my 16-countries-in-16-weeks Exquisite Freedom Tour.
When I arrived in Bali (country 4 of 16) after my dad's funeral in Vancouver, I met up with T, who was in the same town at the same time as me. I already knew it wasn't random coincidence. With delicious, healthy food before us, we gabbed about success, healing, ambition, boys, and everything beyond the Milky Way.
T then raved about a local healer. She didn't go into technical detail, but I already felt compelled to book a session. Being trained in psychology and psychotherapy, I knew the nature of grief. And I wanted to use this healing session to move the shock and grief of my dad's passing through my mind and body. I didn't what grief to take up residence and fester there.
He Who Has All His Teeth
When my driver dropped me off in front of the healer’s house, I was half-expecting, half-hoping for a toothless Kutut from "Eat, Pray, Love." Hehehe. Instead, I was greeted by a super tall white guy, with a Vancouver Canucks t-shirt. So... I traveled 9 timezones to be healed by a fellow Canadian, from my home city, who has all his teeth?!? You funny, Universe.
He didn’t say much, other than he’d use a combination of techniques, including deep tissue massage and body-talk (where the body, no the mind, answered his coaching questions). Having been a self-development junkie for a long while, and because the recommendation came from a trustworthy person, I dove all in.
For 3 straight hours, he kneaded me like pizza dough, interspersed with spacious stillness to observe my body’s nervous system response. I remember having pins and needles in my hands and feet.
Then they spread into my arms and legs. And finally, they engulfed my entire core, as if a spiky vine coiled around me, pulling me into the earth. It hurt, A LOT. But I wasn't scared, because:
- A) as a skyholder I have an abominably high threshold for pain, and
- B) something deep inside knew that this was a meaningful stepping stone.
People Don't Know Your Silent Suffering
Then, the tears came, as they always do, like a faucet without a knob. Once the waterworks turned on, I couldn't turn them back off.
Something definitely got unwired/rewired, because, for the first time in my life, I wondered, "What it would feel like to be held and cared for?" I was incapable of even forming such a thought before.
I whimpered some version of those words to the healer. And do you know what he said? He basically told me to man up and take care of myself. What a DWG* asshole thing to say!
Not his fault though, people just don't know. He couldn't have known that I had my safety and childhood innocence yanked away at age 3 and whiplashed into Money Tree Adulthood.
Had he been a woman, I think he would have said, "Let the care in. Allow it in." Ah well, whaddya gonna do? People just don't know your silent suffering... unless you tell them and they are skilled enough to listen.
Dissolving Perception of Self
Now, with the pins and needles coiled around and inside my entire body, I felt like my sensory perception got magnified 100X. I could feel every molecule moving in and out of my cellular membranes.
The experience intensified and I lost all sensory discernment. I couldn't discern my left foot from my right ear. I couldn't tell the difference between what was me and what was the rest. I was like a giant ball of "zing." I couldn’t feel myself... as if... I had... no self. (It’d be another 2 years and 6 months until the zing would make sense.)
By the end of the 3-hour ordeal, I was weeping non-stop. Obviously. And as I slowly regained my sensory discernment of my left foot, my right ear, and all my body parts, I noticed how different the texture of my tears were.
Fields of Gold
They weren't the hyperventilating, diaphragm pumping, snot spewing, ugly-cry type of tears. Instead, each tear rolled out like a glistening marble over a velvet red carpet. Hmm, this is new! I have filled and refilled the seven seas with my tears, but this... is new.
The healer let me lay on the massage table for as long as I needed, with soothing music in the background.
Then, the song Fields of Gold by Sting came on. By the last line of the song “... when we walked in fields of gold,” boom, it hit me, "Oh! these are tears of gold... these are tears of... joy!!!" 🤯
Oh shit, THIS is joy?!? Oh shiiiiiit, this is joy. THIS is the "Stuwvyxz" that my coach asked me about 1 year and 10 months ago, when she prompted, "What is your capacity for Stuwvyxz?"
That feeling was so pure. And so foreign. All at once. So this is what joy feels like. 🤯 🤯 🤯
The Power of Body-Knowing
As I write about this 5 years and 9 months later, I still don't mind-know exactly what happened. I don't whether the "zing" rewired my neurological pathways or if like Rumi said, "Your task is not to seek for love, but merely to seek and find all the barriers within yourself that you have built against it." Just swap the word love with joy in that quote.
That's the power of body-knowing: I no longer need to mind-know in order to know-know. I no longer need or want a rational explanation or white paper on the subject.
And now that I body-know joy, god I want moooooore of it! I had no idea that that wanting would lead to a 52-countries-in-52-weeks journey.
Live fierce and free,
* DWG Indoctrination = Indoctrination of all women as utterly worthless unless she outproduces all the conveyor belts of the Industrial Age and becomes the best white man she's expected to be and follows all the rules set by Dead White Guys (DWG).
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