Recognizing Other Worlds

Photo by Sergei Solo on Unsplash

I’m thinking a lot this week about an experience I had as a kid. My mom and I were holding hands while walking across a parking lot on a cloudy day.  I remember looking up at the clouds and thinking that they looked like a carpet. I said, “The sky is the floor of another world”. My mom dropped my hand, stopped walking, looked down at me, and said “No it isn’t.”

If my mom were still alive, I think she would be stunned by the longevity of the wound she caused that day.

The thing was I knew I was right, but when she dismissed it so thoroughly, I started to doubt. I tucked away the part of me that knew about other worlds, put my knowledge in a back closet in my heart, and locked the door. Eventually, I forgot about the closet and the door altogether. What was in the closet had no place, so forgetting it made life easier – and emptier.

I’ve been thinking about how common it is to separate ourselves from our knowing. Every week I see clients who, when I ask if they can feel their lower body supporting their upper body, quickly say no. When I ask if their right side knows their left, they pause to consider and then say that one side is aware of the other, but the other side feels really alone.

It’s common not to feel our bodies.

It’s common to only feel part of our bodies instead of our wholeness.

It’s normal to shut down when we feel alone in our understanding.

The modern world has forgotten so much collective knowledge. Knowledge about this world and other worlds. The ability to listen to and converse with the world. The recognition of when the living world around you is speaking to you. The impact of this forgetting is immense. The narrowing of knowledge streams, preferences for information we can use right now, is accompanied by flat computer screens and binary thinking. All of this has obscured ancient, cherished understandings. But those understandings, like the other worlds, are close. Right now. In your bodies. In the sky above you and the ground beneath your feet.

When I think about the tools we teach here at the School of Inner Health for dropping below the noise of the modern world and our collective amnesia, I feel beyond excited to keep offering these gifts to the world. I am an incredibly fortunate person who gets to see the power of this possibility every day. I know that we have not lost our ability to see beyond what we are taught to see. I know that we all remember in our bones a time when we felt connected to other worlds.

I was too young to show my mom what I saw. I was too young not to question myself. At five, I knew she knew more than me. I remember the breadth of her knowing. I knew she was sometimes wrong about how I felt, but I wasn’t feeling that the clouds were part of another world, I was knowing it.  

Photo by Greg Rakozy on Unsplash

I know I was right about there being other worlds – other ways of perceiving. Her comment, and other things that happened before and after it, challenged my knowing. Shutting the door was easy. But opening it back up wasn’t hard either. It just needed the right conditions.

I throw open this door for my students and clients on an almost daily basis. I support them in remembering and reconnecting to the many worlds within us and around us. And best of all, I get to be there to validate the realness of what they are sensing. 

A couple of weeks ago I was talking to a student about how to try less and listen more during practice sessions.

We talked about the comment that I and others like to say when teaching BCST, “Nothing is something.” This means that nothing is irrelevant. Everything that happens in a session is important. The dog barking across the street, the light coming through the trees. The many seemingly random thoughts or sensations that a client or practitioner may experience.

We talked about the feeling of trying and the feeling of wanting to know. We talked about the reality that we don’t often ask the body’s permission to be shown more from a place of being willing not to have that permission granted. More often, when we don’t get what we want, we try harder to get it.  It’s a tall ask for any learning process, not being able to verify your knowledge. But learning is full of – well, learning.

At one point in the conversation, my student said “what you’re talking about reminds me of when I used to talk to the moon. And how after talking to the moon for a while, I began to hear her response.”

“Yes!” I screamed. “That IS what I’m talking about”!

Seriously, not metaphorically. I believe the world is hungry for this conversation and starving without it. I believe this can be a life-affirming and life-changing practice – and that Biodynamics is an avenue to that conversation.  When we ground, negotiate connection and open ourselves to listening to the world both inside and outside the body, the world responds. Try talking to the world and listening for its reply. Catch yourself inside your expectations of what that conversation would or should look like and jump out of them.

If we all started talking to the moon, the stars, the world above this one; if we began to recognize the planets and oceans in our bodies – the waters of our kidneys, the harp strings of our lungs; the world wouldn’t change so much as become more visible in the ways it’s always been.

We all have a part in the grand song of life – an active role in what our world becomes. None of us have lost our capacity to engage with the living world and the aliveness in our bodies, we just may be out of practice.

It’s never too late to begin again a way of living in relationship to life as a breathing, responding, fully aware and capable companion within us and around us.

Give it a try, and feel free to reach out and let me know how it goes!