As change happens where I have been studying since 2005 - The Wellness Institute in Issaquah - www.wellness-institute.org/ - I have been revisiting many memories. This one has been life-changing for me.
In the Fall of 2006 my Internship group was preparing to do a fire walk. Yes, a walk on hot coals. As my teacher David Hartman spent time answering questions and addressing our fears, I asked: "What if it takes me all night to decide either yes - to walk - or no, to walk around? What if it takes me all night?"
As I look back on that night in the Fall of 2006, rainy, a bit stormy, I remember the fear in my body. Not just my mind: my body was in and out of fight or flight mode. Danger! Danger! Even asking questions seemed hard. Hard to formulate what I was really worried about, what I most feared. And to listen - to really hear the answers.
But I did. I sat. I listened to each one of us express deep fear and disbelief.
And we sat. And we asked. And we listened. And David, amazing teacher and soul that he is, fielded the questions with care and respect. No matter the question. He answered each of us even as we repeated the questions and struggled to really 'hear' the answers.
When I asked the question what if it takes me all night, his response was: " I will be with you as long as it takes. It it takes all night, I will be with you."
Even now I can feel the tears well up. The deep sense of safety I felt as he reassured me. And knowing David I knew that what he said was true: he would be with me, or any of us, all night if that is what it took.
That 'doing the fire walk' whether it was YES or NO was success. Confronting our fears and listening to our deepest inner knowing was the real test.
I did walk on the hot coals. And I was fine. And what I learned from that experience over these many years was to not abandon myself. To 'walk' with myself all night through different experiences and life changes. To not abandon me.
So as I sit and listen now - another Fall of rainy, stormy nights - I am present. I have not abandoned myself, left my body or spaced out. I am present. I know that I will walk with ME all night if that is what it takes.
Photo by Lynn Waggoner -yes, my brother.