Energy Exchange ~ Musical Version

I have talked about this quite a bit, but to catch you up, here’s the general idea.  Music IS a Medium.  In this post I try to relate a common experience people have, which is physically/emotionally/spiritually responding to a piece of music.  I believe you will attune to exactly the right frequency of music that will trigger, and heal you.  I believe the individuals who create this music place an energy signature into it which is easily read by physical mediums.  (*or if you prefer, individuals with a particularly sensitive operating system/biological container).

I have used music, inspirational podcasts, intelligent interviews to shape the way my body responds to energy.  I have immersed it in pleasurable energy signatures, that provide healing information for my physical operating system.  My emotional/spiritual/physical improvement cannot continue until these energy breaches are repaired and new pathways of positive energy are created.  Basically, I am reexperiencing all of the energy systems that have caused me pain in my entire life.  In return, I am providing those systems a chance to clear old hurts, and find new understanding.  The more I tune into music and use it in combination with rhythmic movement like climbing long hills, or walking on ‘auto pilot’, the more my body slips into an automatic work pace which is faster than my normal pace, and engages many more muscular and neural systems together.  I feel the difference in my body.  I feel like a machine that is at optimum working pace.  I am relaxed, deeply focused, and releasing all kinds of energy that has built up over the day.  Lately I have been walking two or three times a day.  Yesterday I logged over 23km.  I know the time will come soon where I am going to start working, and I am really ready to get started.  Until then, I am using up a lot of bored energy walking around town feeling amazing.

Whats coming up the most on my playlist shuffle?  I’m glad you asked.

I accidently sucked my gum into what I thought was my lungs, while skating confidently, and listening to this song in my headphones. (DON’T SKATE AND CHEW GUM, KIDS.) I was quickly reminded that confidence is best displayed in places where one has sure footing and a good sense of balance, when a slight wobble caused what could have been a truly ironic ‘How I Died Today’.  I must reference a woman named Tracey who had the first blog I ever loved, called ‘How I Died Today’.  I loved that blog.  🙂

The next one plays over and over in my head, as well as in my headphones.  I love the way it sounds, and I love the way it makes my body feel.  I love that even though there is some hurt still there (*come on Justin, you know it), he has finally got the message that love can be very blind. Everyone hates to make a mistake, especially with our heart. The things he loves are as KICK ASS AS HE ALWAYS THOUGHT THEY WERE, by the way. Fuck off GIRL WHO WANTS TO CHANGE HIM.  The energy signature is of resignation, old pain, resilience, painful realizations, and moving on.  It also points to some very big missed cues when it comes to choosing to ignore the behavior or attitude of people we decide we are going to love.  I feel this brother.  I feel this.  The good news is, once you find out who you are, the right person will be more able to find you because your energy signature will be authentic, accurate, and finally drawing what is needed into your life experience.  in my opinion.

 

 

This one I can’t explain. I can only feel it. It goes in a two-pack with Taylor Swift’s Style.

I suspect there are a lot of people who use music in this way.  I’d love to have more discussion on this.  It has to be a ‘thing’.  How could so many people have similar experiences if it wasn’t a legit phenomena.  It seems so obvious, I’m not even put a question mark at the end of that last sentence.  Grammar Anarchy. I’m a rebel like that.

Hello Butterfly

I know why the butterfly builds a cocoon.

She builds it bit by bit, without even knowing it’s happening. , until suddenly, in quite a panic, she realizes she is trapped.  She resigns herself to being dead and falls deep asleep.

She awakens some time later, inside a dark, tight, frightening place that makes her heart beat furiously, in a body she does not recognize.

Eventually she grows tired of being afraid, and becomes brave.

There are curious changes inside her new environment, and in her perception of her environment.  It may indeed be small, but now the closeness seems intimate.  It used to be dark, but  darkness has become recognizable; comforting even.   What was frightening, has become an embracing, beloved home to the parts of her that have learned to live in this much smaller space.

When her cocoon begins to crack open, she is once again afraid.

Fear has taught her that bravery is a better defense.

She does not know what happens next.  The past has taught her that everything works somehow.  She must trust that this is the next part of the process.

She is released from the last remnants of her home, and she is free.  The world feels so achingly beautiful.   As her glorious wings begin to unfold, it is clear she has grown too large, and too lovely to hide within this tiny space.

She can hardly imagine where she will fly first.  In her own freedom, she is born anew.
She thinks of her fellow larvae, caterpillars, pupae, unaware of what is to be.  She is the them they will become.

She radiates her loving, encouraging beautiful energy to all of her kind, past, present and future.

There is always more to come.  Trust life’s miracles to unfold through you.  You will be the caterpillar who becomes the butterfly.

The Artist and I Square Off

I promised myself I would start my self portrait series but I am stalling. I have realized that in one of these images I am going to feel naked, and possibly even BE naked (I haven’t decided yet). It’s the last step to revealing all of myself to myself. I doubt I will share this portrait series like I did the last set. The fallout of the last series still lingers.

I was a well liked and amiable community member who used to bend over backwards for people. I went full crazy-artist on an unsuspecting small town public. There was a part of me that would not take no for an answer, and demanded to be brought forward. I was fascinated by the way my body reacted to certain music. I would cry and shake uncontrollably for no reason that I was aware of. My manic mind wanted to SEE. It wanted ME to SEE what was being experienced. It wanted others to SEE as well. I could FEEL how good it was to release these feelings that I had no conscious connection to. The music provided a bridge for me to physically LET GO.

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I had been fairly popular when I was behaving and producing palatable portrait photography, but when I decided to photograph my own pain publicly, i was met with a stony silence. This angered me. So I did it some more, with a whole bunch of other real women who had a bit of pain to share. Music was the medium that moved every one of them too.

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No one seemed to care why I was so interested in pain. I was confused. I felt like I had stumbled onto a very exciting connection. People had a very easy time expressing difficult emotions when music was the bridge.

My colleagues were disinterested. It seemed extreme emotion didn’t equal great photography if that emotion is extremely uncomfortable. I couldn’t understand why people who portray themselves to be artists did not see value in what I was producing, or wonder why I was creating these images.

The community that had lifted me for years with their ‘likes’ were embarrassed and quickly distanced themselves from me when I released the first authentic, emotional photography of my life.

It broke my spirit, and I retreated completely from life. I think this is when I felt like I had failed as an artist.

Isolated and alone, my mental difficulties grew and my social circle collapsed.

In hindsight, I realize it was unfair of me to unleash such a torrent of pain at an emotionally repressive community. I really didn’t know what I was doing at the time, because my mental illness was in full control of my faculties. While it was an interesting idea to explore, i was way too emotionally involved in the subject. I now understand that displays of sadness and pain are perceived as weakness. The reality couldn’t be further from the truth. Pain taught me more about truth than fake smiles ever did.
The rebuild of my life since I publicly imploded has been nothing short of traumatic, frightening and truly transcendent. I can’t tell anyone of this, but I’ve left a public record and as people begin to become authentic, they too will experience these complete breaks in their reality. People will come face to face with the part of themselves they have been denying. There is no journey toward ‘light and love’ that does not involve darkness and pain. We are all of these things. We CANNOT move toward our own true light without meeting the dark passenger that waits for confrontation.

Sister, we have both learned to embrace and care for our shadow side. We are learning every day to find balance between our light and dark aspects. We can be enthusiastic coaches and trusted advisers for others who find themselves experiencing a spiritual emergency. We are well trained to offer the support we did not find. We find comfort in beautiful, emotionally powerful people who are not ashamed of the darkness they have walked through. This is our tribe. Some of us will need help while we navigate the murky waters of truth.

So while I drag my heels on the first image of my series, I know it has to be done. The Phoenix is up first. We’ll see how it all turns out. Not going to lie…I am nervous. It feels as important as the first series. I am excited and afraid to see my parts in living colour, but they have asked to be shown, and I will honor their request.

I will cue this one up for The Phoenix when it’s time to shoot.

 

Ode to The Artist

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The part of me that is The Artist experienced this moment.  This fragment craves being in direct communion with nature, and for simplicity, that is what I will refer to when I say ‘god’.  This is easily my favorite piece of myself.

The Artist connects with me to show me the beauty of my world.  It notices the light on the water, and the brightness of the sunshine.  And the way the sun shines on the clouds, so fiery and directional.  It makes me completely understand the holographic nature of their shape.  A bird flies freely across the sky and The Artist reminds me that it is also me taking flight, and me enjoying myself take flight.  I embody the perspective of both the observer and the observed.  There is a long line of slow mist coming off the water at the shore, and it seems to slowly dance. The shadowy form of a man of comes out of the mist from far down the beach.

Look how perfect all this shit is.  It’s as if someone cued up the perfect background for reflecting on my complicated, heartfelt, deeply personal relationship with 2014, and divinity in general.  Now I am the observer, observing the Artist, and rolling my eyes at it.  How disrespectful.  The Artist doesn’t care.  It knows that it is this perspective that has kept the system feeling alive, and believing in magic all of these years.  The Artist is like a honey badger.  It don’t give a fuck about anything but what it loves.  It loves beauty, majesty, feeling and communion.

I would stay inside this fragment all the time if I could, but I would never get anything done.  What I have learned to do is to remember the way The Artist sees the world, and to apply the same eyes, no matter which fragment is present.  This way I can still stop and breathe in the beauty of any place or moment, without becoming completely, impractically, ridiculously swept away in it.

Although, sometimes, that’s nice too.

Healing Rituals ~ Burning Shit Up

Sometimes I feel like my brain needs a physical cue from my body to make the connection between what I am feeling, and what I want as an outcome.

When I want to symbolically break an old connection, I burn something.  I make a little funeral pyre, and include something that belongs to the person, or something that reminds me of them.  I have a ceremonial burning to release the bonds of the past, and to make the intention of creating something different in the space I create.   While the contents burn, I reflect on why I am requesting a mental adjustment in my obligations to that person.

Burning feels good.  It feels real.  I connect with the power of making my own decisions, and removing the familial bonds that have shackled me.  I say goodbye with love and with acceptance for all missed opportunities.  I release us from our previous obligations to each other.

This burn was to disconnect my father.

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I am sure to many he was a great, fun fellow.  To his family, he was something quite different.  I don’t need to defend my feelings.  Even emotionally crippled people have the capacity to rise out of their own misery, and change their behavior.

How limiting to excuse the behavior of a selfish, calculating liar because he was also a victim.  We are all victims in some way.  It doesn’t lessen our obligation to try to do better.

In my current, emotionally healthy life, I choose who gets to be in my inner circle.  There are no obligations to prior bonds of family or friendship.  I choose people who respect my boundaries, recognize my worth, and accept me with unconditional love.  That may be a tall order, but it’s my boundary, and I won’t accept less anymore.   In my new standard, people earn their place in my life.  If the person is no longer living, I sever the connection that previously existed based on societal obligation.  Whether living or dead, people who don’t take their responsibilities as a human being seriously, aren’t granted access to anything more than my politeness.

I have made peace with my past, even if I haven’t decided if I want to make peace with all of the people in it.  It’s my choice to decide who gets to stay in my heart, and who gets evicted.

Art Imitates Life

I realized in  early January 2014 that I could easily trigger a PTSD flashbacks. You might wonder why I would do that.  I am an artist at heart, and probably an emotional junkie.  I was attracted to the intensity of the feelings.  I LIKED FEELING THINGS, even if they were sad. I wanted to see for myself what was happening, and decided to set up a self-portrait set at my studio.  I used a piece of music that had consistently, and inexplicably made me cry when I heard it. For nearly an hour after I shot the first episode, I couldn’t look at these photos.  I paced nervously.   I knew whatever I captured was important to me, but I didn’t know why.  The feelings in my body were highly manic, excited, anxious, and agitated.  My heart was pounding. I was  worried that my measurements for the self timer would not be accurate, and the images would be out of focus.  Which they all were.  I was devastated that my first real art experiment was a bust. Failure was feedback.  I could not be both the observer and observed in this situation. I asked a close colleague to shoot my self portrait.  When I viewed the images from the second attempt, I was moved beyond words.  They painted a heartbreaking tale of sadness, betrayal and pain.  Each image showed a different emotion.  They give a face and an expression to a terrible experience.  Seeing her, made her real. cropped-multiplemeheader.jpg I even made a video of the images, and invited my clients and friends (over 2000 Facebook contacts) to ask for the link to view it.  I didn’t understand what was happening to me, and I was afraid.  It was a personal ‘art project’ that was really a cry for help.   No one asked me what the hell I was thinking, why I was crying, and what possessed me to show it to the world.  I was single-minded in my belief that this project was important.  The reality is that it was only important to me.  I vomited my mental health crisis onto the internet, and not surprisingly, no one knew how to react. At first it was really disconcerting, to show a part of myself that was so raw and unpleasant.  Soon, it became liberating.  It was a very unusual vantage point of life, and one that I found I curiously empowering.  I scared people with my pain.  I triggered their own fear.  Gone was the happy, smiling, complacent Jane they had been accustomed to.  In her place was a falling-apart woman who was not doing a good job of tucking in her crazy. There was a part of me that saw how much pain I was experiencing without really causing any real alarm bells to go off.  I was having a spiritual emergency, and the community response was mostly silence. So of course I did it again. I asked a different friend to shoot my 3rd attempt.  The  story was even darker.  The images were frightening, sickening, and painful to look at.  I viewed them with shock and  nausea. Screen Shot 2014-12-08 at 12.20.50 PMScreen Shot 2014-12-08 at 12.19.54 PM I didn’t shoot any more images of myself, and my PTSD flashbacks.  I had seen quite enough. The Artist and The Professor conspired together to allow me a way to see The Scared Child that was hiding in my mind.  She must have been very relieved to finally be surfacing.  She was the driving force behind my need to heal. I am not sure how many people I hurt in this process.  I pursued this project like it was my only job in life.  I blew up my life in public, caused my business to tank, and began the slide into a deep depression that I wouldn’t begin to shake until the end  of May.  On the bright side, I had proof that there was really something wrong, and I needed help. I ended up in my doctors office, crying uncontrollably, and begging for medication to relieve the live-wire stick person that was living inside of my body.   I left with prescriptions for Effexor,  Zopiclone, and a referral to province-funded therapy.

Fragments of Me

NOT A COMPLETE LIST, AND IN NO PARTICULAR ORDER…

 

Shower Girl arrived early in the new year, and stayed on and off, for about 10 days, in collaboration with Anima.  She is my fearfully religious fragment.  She spent most of her time on the shower floor, praying for sanity.  She felt imagery related to Joan of Arc, Mary (mother of JC), and the prostitute in the bible.  She scared the shit out of me.  My husband and my therapist were also concerned about her, but I didn’t tell anyone until months later.  I would have been committed if anyone was with me when she appeared.   She was completely out of control and unable to care for herself.  Totally afraid and agitated.  I believe she made a brief appearance over the Easter long weekend.  She used her influence to get religious again, which is probably why she didn’t last long.  She had me believing I was pregnant, and it was likely her who was devastated (twice) when it turned out to be perimenopause, and not pregnancy that had delayed my periods.  I’m fairly certain she thought she was Mary, and that the baby was going to be the next Jesus.  I am not consciously sure of that, but I suspect it.

Fancy is selfish and sometimes mean.  She is judgmental, short-tempered and irritable. She is also fun and flashy.  She’s entertaining and gregarious.  She wouldn’t think twice to ditch plans if she got a better offer. She ignores my needs and desires and serves her own agenda.  She is responsible for a lot of self-sabotage, and bad choices in my life.  She has stars in her eyes, and only wants to see things her way.  She is an attention whore.  She like jewelry and fashion, but she rarely gets to wear what she buys.  She has a penchant for very high, unpractical heels, lingerie and jewelry.  I have many earring/necklace sets that she buys, and I can never wear because they are ridiculous.  I would estimate that she has purchased 10 pairs of heels that we are never going to be able to wear.  She is probably who filled my closet with colourful, semi-stylish clothing.  She takes over when I am anxious in social situations.

The Mother is a recent addition to the crew.  She has been dormant or inactive until recently.  I believe she is an alter I created in the past 3 years to model the good mothering behavior I saw from a friend.  I always admired this friend, and I am proud that Mother has embraced the role so naturally. Her emergence has created a seamless front in my alter structure.  There is someone in place for every part of my life. Her influence became very dominant when I started taking Biphentin.   Within 1 month of starting the med, I had cleaned/organized/purged my entire home, all 3 levels.  Tackling the basement was the most unbelievable job I did.  I had a friend instigate the job, and I heartily agreed to tackle it with her.  Within 6 hours, the basement (my personal horror) was clean and organized.  There is a good chance the medication unearthed some OCD in me, as I have never in my life been tidy, or organized.  Now the OCD is my bff, and I love having a clean, orderly home.

AdorablePsycho is the alter that actively tries to fuck with me.  If there is a mental loophole, AP will find it and exploit it.  No topic is off limits.  He loves to make me afraid of losing my husband and kids.  There is no shortage of ways in which AP tosses out mental bombs. AP also enjoys suggesting that I am under the control of aliens, and that every time my ass hurts, I am having an anal probe. (UGH, I know RIGHT?) When I have a PTSD flashback, AP is right there to start wondering if this is a medical emergency that will cause me to die.  All day long, every day, these malignant thoughts arrive and are pushed away by The Gatekeeper.  I often don’t hear the thoughts anymore, or they don’t register in my awareness.  AP has greatest access to me when I am vulnerable.  Tired, under the influence, worried…these are his favorite states of being.  I understand that he lives to fuck with my head, and this is the only alter I would like to remove permanently.  I do not want this fragment in my integration process.  I am still unsure if this is even possible.

CrazyTrain is the alter that entertains any idea that crosses my head.  When AP and CT get together, it’s a hot mess.  Crazy train isn’t actively fucking with me as much as she is excitable, wide-eyed, and curious.  She thinks without limits, and as great as that can be, it goes rogue at times as well.   CrazyTrain usually starts the train on a halfway reasonable track, and then rides it right out to lala land.  Sometimes CrazyTrain and Adorable Psycho work together.  AP is psychotic.  He takes the ideas and twists them into physically painful thoughts, while CT is mostly just an asshole.

The Zealot has a great number of religious topics it likes to explore.  It wants me to spend time thinking about angels and demons, God and the devil.  It has made me move closer to, and then further away from religion.  I don’t know if I believe in God, which causes some anxiety.  On some level I have bought into the idea that you have to accept Jesus/God to be saved.  On another level, I feel like a good ‘father’ would encourage mw to explore my beliefs and live my own truth, rather than having beliefs forcefully rammed into my consciousness.  I feel this alter has given me more reason to distrust and move away from the concept of God/the devil.  I often think that we all have a devil, or a judas, inside of us.  I just know mine a bit more intimately than most do.

The Professor/The Scientist is one of my favorite alters.  I liken this alter to the feeling of Albert Einstein, or Nikolas Tesla in my head.  It is the energy of a creative-thinker, and a very curious mind.  The ideas I have when this alter is present are often clearly not my own, and I need to pay attention, as I lose the thoughts easily.  It introduces ideas I have never thought about.  It examines things in a logical and analytical way.  It attempts to put appropriate patterns together.  It is most interested in hacking the brain, and reverse-engineering my habits and behaviors.  It has allowed me to see that few of the things I was taught about life are real, and that things are much more interesting than I could ever have imagined.  The Professor often works with The Artist to collaborate on archetypal ideas in photography.  Although the professor doesn’t usually do the shooting (but has before), he really enjoys the editing and digital creation.  The Professor is the driving force behind my writing.  It has always shown me that if I write things down in any altered state, the rest of me can read about what is happening.  When I want to remember something, the professor sets alarms, writes notes, sets reminders.  The professor loves the mother, and is relieved at the changes in our environment since she arrived.  I can shift fairly easily into this alter, but it is very ‘dry’ and mathematical most of the time, so it’s not as much fun as when it gets creative.

My Scared Child shakes.  When she is inside my body, the vibrations are intense.  I can shiver incessantly (although not necessarily cold) and my body shakes and vibrates.  It is physically uncomfortable, but I sense that when she is present, she is releasing old tension.  She is young, and doesn’t speak.  I recently felt her inside of me as I was have a PTSD episode.  I felt like somewhere in time, my Scared Child was experiencing the actual trauma, while I held her in my space and calmed her through it.  I felt like i was creating a space for her to go while her body absorbed some trauma.  She and I sat together in this space until her body stopped shaking, and the episode ended.   I don’t see much of her, but I try to hold space for her whenever she is around.  She really needs the help, so when she surfaces, we turn all attention toward her needs.

Anima feels like the consciousness of my body, my ‘animal’.  We only became reacquainted this year, after I woke up ‘newborn’ on January 1, 2014.  For 2 weeks, she and I coexisted, only meeting her basic needs.  She likes natural fabrics, raw food, no hair/makeup.  I wear cotton or wool when she is present.  She likes to feel ‘contained’ in my clothes, and loves snug clothes that make her feel secure.  She doesn’t like things to be tight, or restrictive. She is the part of me that wants to return to pioneer life.  She was instrumental in the decision to cut my hair, and once I did that, she and I felt bonded.  For the first time since i was about 14, I look in the mirror and think it is ‘me’. She and I have been at odds because of my self-destructive behavior most of my life.  She is angry about a few of the choices I have made.   I believe we are working well together towards complete integration.

The Artist was born a long time ago, but infrequently surfaced until this year. There is an obsessive drive to explore creative expression.  The Artist doesn’t care about eating, or drinking or going to the bathroom.  He/she is often the part of me that shoots, but once I am done, he/she quickly leaves.  He/she doesn’t care for ‘regular life’, and is only interested in the extremes in life.   I was manic a great deal of the time The Artist was with me from February-May.  It kept me busy following the rules of the art project I was working on.  It was The Artist that instigated the Crying Ladies, although it was originally a different concept. The Artist was furious that no one could see the importance of crying in art, and now I roll my eyes at that thought.  However, it was extremely real at the time, and I needed that outrage and fury as I imploded in front of my colleagues and community.  The Artist incubates the ideas it hears, and then sees what scraps can be created from it.  I remember how excited he/she was when I shot the first PTSD flashback.  I understood what it felt like to be Matisse, Picasso, Michelangelo.  It doesn’t matter if your work resonates with anyone else, when it resonates with you, you are THE ARTIST.  I strongly identified with Marina Abramovich and her ‘The Artist is Present’ piece for the MOMA.  I understood that she was doing what I was doing, but in a different way.  When my Artist is present, I feel alive and completely absorbed.  I would get very little done if The Artist spent a great deal of time at the wheel.

The Gatekeeper was the first alter I put into place on purpose.  Before I knew this was DID, I knew there was ideas in my head that weren’t right.  The Gatekeeper was a mental version of my husband, who was kind and fair in his thinking.  The Gatekeeper was the protector and the hero.  No thoughts were allowed to get through my sober mind without the Gatekeeper running them through the filter.  One of the first filters I used was in response to my brother, who used to like making me upset.  I would say: “If this was said to you by anyone other than your brother, would it make you upset?”.  It was this very powerful mental filtering that saved my sanity when things got very hairy in my head.  When you start to challenge alters, they rear up bigger and louder to try to scare you off.   I owe my sanity to My Gatekeeper.