I went to see Sylvia. Three years ago she was at death’s door herself from cancer and has recovered. She then did some training with Brandon Bays, another person who did the same thing and has turned that into her own healing journey process that she teaches. Sylvia has a strong loving presence and has already helped me in two previous casual conversations. This is more formal.
“We’ll allow two and a half hours for this,” she explains, “it may not take that long but I like to know that we can if necessary. Is that OK with you?”
“Yes, no problem. I like clear boundaries. I’d be wondering about it, and probably worrying about you too, if I didn’t know. One of the things I do.”
She smiles. “We’ll be taking a journey into your body today, this is not hypnotherapy, you remain fully conscious at all times and I will be asking you questions and we will be staying in communication.”
“OK, I understand.”
Actually, I disagree – I think this is hypnotherapy but without hypnosis. It’s a common fallacy that hypnotherapy has to include trance work, but it doesn’t have to. I did a long training in California in the 80s and it can include a lot of different ways of accessing our inner world, trance and hypnosis is just one of them. I don’t say any of this.
“Like in Fantastic Voyage – right?”
“Yes, that’s right. I saw that movie. We’ll be imagining a vehicle like that. And you can have a companion with you. A supporter or mentor. A friend who is there for you, to help you and be your companion. It can be anyone you choose.”
My friend Veda, who lives in Colorado comes immediately to mind, so I tell her.
Sylvia then counts me down some steps into a more relaxed state,
“Good. So you both enter this special vehicle that is designed for the purpose of transporting you, and your friend Veda, into your body. It’s like the miniaturised submarine in Fantastic Voyage or a space shuttle, very comfortable and safe. You both strap yourselves in.”
We go through some twists and turns and some ups and downs and then,
“You have arrived at your destination. This is a special place within your body that holds important knowledge and experience for you that is going to help you to heal. You can get out of the shuttle and look around. Take Veda with you.”
“I can’t see anything at all.”
“Reach back into the shuttle. There’s a powerful torch there.”
I do my best to imagine this and try shining it about.
“It’s completely dark. There’s just a vast darkness. The light can’t reach to anything.”
“What are you standing on?”
I know this is a grounding question. An attempt to give me some orientation. This knowledge doesn’t help me.
“Ummm … I’m not sure,”
“Say whatever comes to mind.” This is exactly what I would say to a client in this situation! Knowing this doesn’t help me either. I am getting a bit caught up in my difficulties with visualising and wanting to be a “good client.” I come up with something a bit vague.
“It’s like some sort of paving.”
Sylvia gently encourages me with different questions. She’s relaxed and open, unconcerned as far as I can feel. I settle more easily into the situation, into myself. I feel comfortable with my choice of Veda as companion, he, too, is a reassuring presence within me.
Sylvia asks me to gift myself the quality of deservability and I find this impossible. I have long had trouble with this one.
“What about connectedness?”
I begin to feel tearful, the absence of connection has been distressing me for a long time and I start to feel pain of it squarely.
She encourages me to just see and feel whatever is there. So instead of seeking to find something in the darkness I accept it. This is where I need to be in order to understand something. Slowly the darkness grows into a vastness, an infinity of space and I am an infinitesimal presence within it. Infinitesimal, yes, but even so, a presence. A minute spark of life in a vast void. A spark of consciousness. I sense that there is a particular moment in time where this spark of life or light actually enters this dimension. This physical and temporal dimension. A spark of consciousness that enters from …….. where? Another realm, another dimension, a mystery, perhaps not even a place. The constructs of my mind are insufficient.
The obvious way of thinking about it is as the moment of conception. In that moment, a consciousness enters this world of space and time, and I call it me, or it inhabits something I call me. And there are two enormities in this moment. One is the paradox of space and time which are both with and without dimension. How can that be? Yet it is. The world has shape and size yet it is infinite. In the infinity of space there are no boundaries in either direction, either outwardly through the endless physical universe of galaxies upon galaxies, or inwardly into the world of physics, the particles of matter that can always be tinier and tinier. Whatever particle exists, however small, it can be divided. That is how it looks to my mind. And there is no way it can encompass this. I have lived with this since I was a young boy and first started thinking about infinity and how wherever there is a boundary there must be something on the other side of it, even if it is nothing! I have never liked this, never felt comfortable with it. All I have been able to say to myself is,
“My mind is not sufficient to understand this.”
The other enormous awareness is emotional. I am overwhelmed with a vast sense of loss. It is as though I have entered this physical dimension, this world of growing into a body, without something fundamental. That I have left something behind, or not brought something essential with me, or into me. And that missing essence is a sense of connection with wherever it is that I have come from. I am cut off from the source of my life, of my consciousness, and I feel totally bereft.
I attempt to speak of this but can only cry. Sylvia encourages me to let it happen.
“Just let the tears fall, there’s no need to speak.”
I am filled with grief. A grief I have known and struggled with my whole life. I have spent many years in different kinds of therapy exploring the pain that I have found in me and it has never left me except for short periods. Underlying all my feelings of fear and anger, of happiness and love, I have always returned to this grief. I let myself feel it again and it seems to me that this is the fundamental wound that I must heal.
In the guidance in the chapel all those months ago, I was given the clarity that I must go to the source of the wounds in order to heal them. There can be no deeper source than this, can there? The moment of translation into this dimension, I can’t imagine anything more fundamental than that..
I manage to share some of this and Sylvia brings the session to a close by bringing me back to the shuttle, still accompanied by my friend, and slowly bringing me back through my body and up into the normal reality we inhabit day to day.
“That is enough for one day, plenty. Well done,” She congratulates me.
For once, I am not concerned with being a “good client.” This experience has given me a lot to absorb, a lot to think about and integrate. I has taken me weeks to get to where I can even write about it. Mind you, there was the small interference of a bit of chemo!
I am still sitting with this and asking for help from beyond or within myself for some kind of sense of connection, some kind of healing, some bridge back that I can traverse to a place where I am not alone and bereft. I tell myself,
“You have followed your guidance, gone back to the source of the wound. Be thankful for that and be patient. Keep asking for help and be patient. You are not in charge of this, all you can do is stay open. This is truly beyond your mind’s abilities to comprehend.”