This month Iâ€™ve had the tremendous privilege to walk closely with my friend as he learned he has brain cancer, underwent a miraculously successful surgery, and prepares for more treatments.
He is leaning into a shower of community love and support that I remember feeling as I was wheeled towards major surgery 6 years ago. Standing close to him and catching the spray of love from his experience, Iâ€™m getting a chance to repeat and integrate this healing for myself (without the distraction of fresh scars and chest tubes). I joke that it is giving me Post Amazing Blessing Syndrome.
There is fear and grief swirling around these circumstances as well. Iâ€™m witnessing his grief that he canâ€™t be his usual present, reliable, steady, and providing self. I recognize this grief as my own; my daughter was 10 months old when I had surgery and I couldnâ€™t pick her up for a month.
These extreme situations bring an acute experience of being forced to drop an essential part of oneself. Most of us encounter the question of â€œWho am I now?â€ in some form as we age, or live with an illness, or experience a significant loss.
Almost always the â€œWho am I now?â€ question is uncomfortable.
Iâ€™ve found my way? through this big question by tapping into the part of myself that is much bigger than my work or roles. Iâ€™ve always intuitively sought out some form of the transcendent, usually through making art. It was only when my health was in crisis that I realized I needed a regular practice to train myself to connect with my larger sense of Self. I practiced. I recovered. I relapsed. Three years into my consistent practice I began to â€œget itâ€ and reliably connect with this bigger Self.
For those first three years my practices â€“ meditation and creating art â€“ were things I mainly did by myself. I worked with healers, but didnâ€™t want to attend any classes or groups.
Being wheeled to surgery was a significant moment for me because it felt like all my practices were going out the window. I did not feel transcendent at all. I remember thinking, â€œWell, Iâ€™ve done all I could and Iâ€™m going to have to be carried by everyone else now.â€ And I was. My complicated major surgery was miraculously successful.
The Amazing Blessing is the power of the group. Through love we can draw each other out into our larger selves. This blessing is what Iâ€™m integrating again with the extra resting required by my Post Amazing Blessing Syndrome.
Throughout my week, in the group healing in my qigong practice, or as I am held in the embrace of the dancing circle, Iâ€™m invited to keep on leaning into the power of being held in loving community. Iâ€™ve spent a long time exhausting myself by trying to bear it all; these group practices are now essential to my ongoing healing and growth.
Do you have a practice that connects you with your larger self? There are so many creative and embodied ways to develop that connection. I think we inspire each other when we name the variety of practices that we have.
Do you have a group to support your practice? Why or why not?
Iâ€™d love to read you comments and responses below.
Blessings to you!
Needing a group practice?
Needing extra support?
If you are feeling extra depleted or struggling with your health, I can provide individual healing support to help move the energy of your situation and harness your creativity as a healing force.