I experienced a pervasive fear in 1994/1995 year of Atira. Fear rose instantly when I perceived (real or imagined) that I made a mistake. The fear seemed to come on suddenly, taking over my experience. In reality, if I attended, fear was always present. Fear paralyzed me. I wallowed in a state of chaos, not knowing a way out. My fear of the fear, which I call scaring myself, exasperated the fear. I felt trapped. I described myself as having no voice—not hearing or seeing. I followed the process rigidly, not trusting.
I participated in the process by embracing my experience of blackness. I saw the color black when I looked inside. Black as in lost in darkness. I colored a large sheet of paper with a black oil pastel. I stayed with the blackness, scared out of my wits. My fear was wordless. I did not know what I was afraid of. I was immediately afraid when I saw the darkness. Evadne’s presence guided me to enter and experience the darkness. I wept. Within the darkness I felt alone, blank, empty.
My life was filled with many stressful events. I do not know if the pervasive fear presented itself because of these events or if I was simply ready to embrace the fear. My fear of fear scared me so intensely, that I retreated into numbness, the darkness, and the fog of a sinus infection. In order to embrace my fear I needed someone to attend me, to hold me. I went to a friend who was studying a form of bodywork called the Rubenfeld method. The Rubenfeld practitioner touches the client’s body; the client looks within for images to emerge while she attends the practitioner’s touching. I used it with my practice of the Atira process. During the Rubenfeld sessions images of flowers emerged from within the darkness, in my throat—choking me. A small ball was suspended above a flower. It sat where the tension of my sinus infection was focused: at the top of my nose, between my eyes.
The image of the flower lived with me (see images 1-5), along with a wordless fear. The experience of sinus infection became unbearable. I could not sleep. Something inside me was calling me. I obeyed and listened. I closed my eyes and attended the “something inside”. Screams emerged. I tossed and turned. Restless. I saw darkness. The flower emerged out of the darkness, from my uterus, up into my throat, choking me. I went into the darkness again, forcing myself to stay. I experienced something next to me, a presence. I was comforted by it. My fear dissipated. Then I felt this presence leave. I was alone with a deep pain. “No! No! Don’t leave!” Crying, I laid in the darkness, afraid and utterly alone. I settled down and the flower reappeared. It moved up my throat. I did not choke. I saw a ball above the flower (image 6). The ball dropped into the center of the flower (image 7), it dropped down through the stem and landed in the blackness, in my uterus. It laid there, planting itself (image 8). I wept as the tension dissolved.
Then I saw grass growing from my womb. It grew tall, up through my throat (image 9). Something was in my throat. A sound struggled through my vocal chord. A gentle soft owww emerged. The tension from my sinus infection lessened, I could breath easier. I was able to sleep. My infection, which had been debilitating for three weeks, began to clear.
I was silent, with no voice. I have received my voice. I was beginning to trust my wisdom, to trust my experience, to acknowledge my voice. I entered into my experience of fear, the fear of being alone, rejected and abandoned. In putting my power in the world outside myself, I abandoned myself, my own Wisdom. I could not give my truth, my experience and knowledge from practicing the process to others—I was too afraid of being rejected, being alone. I had not the trust in the Wisdom of embracing the chaos, the fear.
I participated in the process of opening to my experience and embracing chaos (fear): “a mass of sense and perception that can be seen as a veritable storehouse of information (p.8)”. Staying with the experience of chaos was extremely difficult. McNeil states that staying with the experience of chaos is typically avoided and seems like an irrational thing to do. I avoided the chaos by escaping into numbness of a sinus infection and by not allowing myself to experience the chaos. I was extremely afraid even at the thought of allowing myself to experience the chaos. Evadne helped me by gently guiding me and supporting me while I embraced it.
The purpose of embracing the chaos is to bond with it, to receive the information it holds. Bonding is not something I made happen. It is something I prepared for by allowing myself o experience the chaos. Bonding is “the Light of Love that fades illusions, changes perceptions and brings forth truth, forgiveness, release, peace and awe (p.9).”
Through embracing my chaos, bonding did occur. My fear vanished and was replaced by an inner sense of peace. McNeil states that through bonding we “embrace the Love we are at our core (p.19)”. The voice I received is the voice of Love that is at the core of my being. It has always been within me, waiting.
I learned to trust in the Wisdom the chaos holds. My trust in the chaos will support others in their process. In remembering the Love that is at my core, I can respond to others from that Love, rather than through fear.
McNeil, Evadne (1996). The Creativity Continuum. Baileys Harbor, WI: Atira Publications.