It's a simple tale - one in which I share the experience of being with two different elderly women both of them mothers of mine ...
It's also a tale in which these mothers experience an energetic body process called the Access Bars ...
It's also a tale about what is received by us all as witnessed by me...I tell it without conclusion but because to me there are remarkable moments. If you, dear reader, find the telling dry, somewhat detached, it may be so. I make no apologies about that - in fact it is the opposite. It is the gift of detachment from the immediate availability of flooding emotions that is more usual in such situations that has me appreciative of what has occurred.
The first mother - my own birth mother - has been living with a continually declining state of brain function since the diagnosis of early onset Alzheimer's Disease nearly 14 years ago. She continues to live, albeit qualitatively diminished, in a totally dependent state in a care home in Victoria, Australia. This visit was my first with her for nearly six years. The distance that such a period of time can create between visits can be challenging in some situations but with this condition there is some comfort in the knowing that time is one of the structures of this reality that becomes a casualty through the mental decrepitude that exists within dementia. Any concern and regrets I had envisaged or created about not having been physically with her slipped into a vast chasm... it was extraordinarily special to simply be with her there and then.
This was all that was required. For this time we were together - in the body.
As part of our first reunion I ran my mother's bars. This entailed gently touching specific points on her hear and allowing the energy to 'run'. It is not a difficult process to learn and I find it to be an incredibly relaxing and generous experience for both the recipient and the giver. It is for me most often experienced as a deeply meditative state and one through which the relief of a quiet mind emerges with ease. This was the first time that I had created the opportunity to gift my mother this body process. I have been a practitioner and a facilitator of The Access Bars for nearly three years. They have contributed hugely to the changes that have revolutionised my life.
At first and for quite some time during the session the energy was very subtle - holding the points did not seem to be creating the 'usual' sense of gentle pulsing or vibrational contact. And then there was the most remarkable moment when she had a huge release through a series of yawns... a release of some kind. My Mum, or at least her body, seemed to be responding to the releasing of electrical energies that clog up the neural pathways. It was as though contact was being made between ground control and a distant satellite station.
hat I absolutely know is that at the end of this first session my Mum not only recognised me but reached through her impossible strictures and knew me for all that I be.
There are few words that can be found to express the depth of gratitude I experienced in these moments....and as I write today.
The gift of having my Bars run is always a greater sense of space...an easing of constriction in the head that most of us have come to recognise as 'normal'. To take the words of Joni Mitchell's song, "...you don't know what you've lost 'til it's gone..."
If another person experiences the relief that I do then I am grateful and rewarded. To have witnessed the subtle but evident shift for my mother at this time was a joy/fulfilling and satiating experience I had not realised I had been hungering for.
Was that how she also experienced it?
During the following visits i asked her body if she would like Bars again and also different body processes . It was beautiful to be able to sit with her in a kind of communion, a state of ease present through simply running the processes that her body was asking for. She is completely silent in her dementia - she has not spoken for many years. There is sometimes the sense that she is communicating through touch also she appears to respond to different kinds of music and tonal speech patterns.
I did not seek repair or healing of her dementia from our days together although I did experience that myself. Through being present in silence, beyond our stories, and through the gifting and receiving of these energy processes there was a great deal of releasing and shedding of the need for anguish and emotional intensity.
Some weeks later I am once again in London. I visited my other mother - this one through marriage. She is in the last stages of her life and asking for release from her body. It hurts. She has lived the last five years without leaving her one bedroomed home in central London and she has done so with vast amounts of grace and peace. She asked for Bars and it was not possible to sit at her head so I sat by her bed in the wonderful state of communion with her body that is possible through Bars and I asked her body to run the Bars without my being able to touch the actual points.
(She had had her Bars run several times before. On one occasion in the past she described the effect as "It's more like a limitless place or even space now... No edges except where I put them. ...I suppose that's where they always have been but I never realised it in quite the same way." )
At the end of this tender session my mother in law opened her eyes sparkled a little as she asked for some food - two slices of soft goats cheese. She hadn't eaten for days...her body had not asked for anything until this moment. I shall never forget the sensory pleasure I witnessed her whole being open to as she savoured the tiny bites, allowing taste and texture to be fully experienced. Her presence in the moment was a profound gift to me...each moment of her life that was only days from coming to an end was being lived in full consciousness and heightened awareness.
I could write for days on end of the tender presencing that we each lived during the following ten days. Each moment laced with the recognition of the utter privilege of the intimacy that was being offered me in this relationship with one who had been my mentor, my friend, my nemesis and my shadow through more than twenty years in this life time...several thousand in others? What transpired was a series of days that were seamless and beauty filled. I was awake to her presence constantly and never once resisted the situation I had chosen. I knew without doubt that my awareness would inform me how and what to do for this dying woman. Vulnerabilities and concerns were never resisted as we each allowed our bodies to inform us as to what was required. I recall that she said to me, "it's as if your body knows what mine needs before I do and then I don't have to think about asking...what a gift."
Just saying that I really would not have been open to this experience in years past. It had always been hugely challenging to be with my Mums in one way or another... I was a master of resistance.
What I know is that using the access tools has created so much change in my world. What showed up during these incredibly tender and awake full days of being in the field living with death was more than I could have ever imagined possible in the realms of beauty and gratitude.
Yes thank you. I am grateful.
I write from a most beautiful and peace filled landscape of The Blue Ridge Mountains of Virginia. There are three large turkey vultures swooping and circling at a high altitude and a constant presence of frogs and cicadas filling my audible landscape. The colours are as you might expect for this time of the year - crisp golden, greens and reds with a bluer than blue sky reflecting in the lake upon which I am gazing between sentences.
This very particular place has been named Bridge Between the Worlds and it is without any doubt an accurate name for the field that has been co-created here by my friend, Margaretta McIlvaine.
Over the past twelve or more months of my life I have had the incredible fortune to have travelled widely, following some of the invitations that come towards me and Gabriella that encourage us to bring our work/ gifts into the wider world. Sometimes I metaphorically pinch myself and ask questions - questions that are filled with the awe and wonder of a child in love with the Earth. There is sooo very much to be grateful for - awe inspiring beauty and wave upon wave of total appreciation for being in a position to say yes to a way of living that seems to create more of its likeness...I wonder - is that the secret of living?
What else can I bring into the world that would allow more of this wonder and beauty to be available for more beings?
This past week has seen me meeting with people who are creating incredible places of sanctuary for land, animals, nature and people...
Here at Bridge Between the Worlds there is a luminous atmosphere arising from the woods across to the shore of the lake...am I the watcher or the watched I wonder as i gaze upon the light that seems to invite me to another dimensional reality in a blink, the space between the trees beckoning me to notice...space.
What a gift it is to be exposed to and to be aware of the space that is found in stillness. A year ago I would not have reckoned it possible that so much ease could be found in being with other people most of the time, place to place and always engaged in the joy of companionship and meetings with other beings - two legged or other!
One day this week whilst spending time at a horse rescue retreat I was blessed by an intimate experience with a mare called Willow - an encounter that I had not anticipated, had always hoped for but had never encountered or expected. Dropped down into my heart and free of any sense of fear I was able to be completely present with this warm nosed and breathed equine stranger...total presence with another sentient being.
What has made the difference?
It is without doubt many things. I could name all those I am aware of and still I would be diminishing or limiting what has actually shown up. The vast and deeply benevolent universe always provides me with what it is I ask for and even require...I have always been blessed with the great fortune of knowing a deep well of well being at the very essence of my being.
The difference these days though seems to be that I am more able to receive life for its every nuance - from those that are tinged with joyous fulfilment to those that are steeped in uncertainty and hesitation...even the rare moments of sorrow or remorse. These days I see them all as aspects of life that are simply colours of a stunningly radiant rainbow - ever changing and always fascinating. I am deeply grateful for all that I have and all that I experience. I am not unaware of the privilege and the gift.
I have been given access to a greater space for being...