The act of leaving home can repeat itself over and over, what ever way it happened back then, whether it was really positive and supported, or if it was traumatic and unexpected. So within some of my work we begin to find a way to ritualise this and see how it is still affecting us. Whether in our work lives, families or organisations. If there is a healing needed, then we will keep repeating the ‘need’ to experience leaving home, until we find a way to do it healthily with all the support needed, saying goodbye where necessary, to people, family, pets, even objects. There has been a ‘holding’ for many years and if at the time we leave we do not acknowledge what has passed, it will forever call to us, asking for that release from our lives, else we carry it forever with us, with unfinished business and forgotten tales, with no thought of gratitude or completion.
What do we need to do to complete that part of our lives, so we can step with more wholesomeness into the life we live now?
The home of familiarity,
Where even the darkened shadows
spelt out comfort
Yet I knew it was time to leave
There didn’t seem to be much choice
I never really asked
if there was,
So obviously spoken
the distress of others
the guilt once laid
the bed was made
so live it!
We remember, those moments and maybe we look a little deeper into their significance in our lives. And not just the time we left home, but many times through our lives where something happened to change us.
And we look back and begin to ritualise that meaning, holding it close to our hearts as a precious gift and telling its story with true value. It has true value, it is valuable, it has taught us so much. The story does not need to be dismissed, it is living on in so many areas of our lives, whether we remember it or not, sometimes in a good way and sometimes creating negative scenarios we would rather not be part of, but without the memory we can never be released from it.
And the story holds all that it has taught us. The part of us that has gained so much from its teachings. We may never fully understand what the gifts are, even when the scenario seems to have had a negative impact on our lives, for sure there will be wisdom held in its bones.
The dancer will free those memories and help us to engage more fully with the story, as well as the outcomes.
I began to step out into the little boat, to travel up and down the rivers of life. Leaving the shores of what was once familiar. I cannot know what awaits me so pushing myself gently from the shore I await those first few ripples and waves to carry me, outwards and onwards.
I can simply hope for calm seas, but I also have to accept the rough, knowing it is a necessary path and a way to build my strength and capability. Remembering to trust the dancer inside me, to move with the waves, to accept the river of life, I am journeying onwards to be one with the flow of energy that carries me.
Now I need my connections to what has come before me, I need the support of my ancestors and the strong connection I have to spirit. My prayers will be heard and I begin to learn to ask for what I need.
I develop skills I did not know I had, calling to the Phoenix to show me more of how to let go, into the ashes to transmute and open me up to the wings that would lift and carry me out of its dust.
Ah if it was that simple, to trust and to walk freely from what has held and nurtured us through our childhoods! Even if home was not such a happy place; it was what we knew and was familiar to us.
It was what sculpted us and helped to create the being we are now. There will be so many memories and many disappointments, places where we learnt how to get things right and often got things wrong. For sure we would need to learn quickly to please others and develop the character that fitted into the dynamics we were growing up with.
So there are ties, some hidden, into what we called home.
So I encourage you to ask yourself ‘what is the story I have around leaving home?’ That very first experience, maybe it began with a thought at a younger age, for sure we were being groomed for that day and it would often be spoken about. ‘What are you going to do when you leave home?’ ‘What will you do when you are grown up?’
I doubt many say ‘oh I am going to stay at home forever and ever’
Well actually one of my little ones did used to say that very thing. ‘Im going to live with you forever, mummy’ she would say. I wasn’t too sure if I should encourage it at the time, knowing the necessity of stepping out on ones own, growing up and taking ones own journey.
So I would simply remark ‘how nice dear’ and honor the love she had of being with her mum. Of course I was quite flattered too, especially as the same words were repeated as she grew older.
Another of my daughters informed me that I would leave home before she did! And she was right, I moved from the family home and she remained there taking it on for herself very briefly before she then found her own ‘smaller’ abode.
So what is your story? And when you have remembered it, ask yourself how you feel about it. Is there any emotion in your body?
See if you can see the ‘boat’ that you left the shores with. What contained you, or supported you, can you visualise this from the boat on the waters of life.
What were your first experiences and can you see any of these experiences repeating themselves over and over?
Sometimes our memories can play games with us and we can remember things slightly differently to how they really were. And of course others will have their own memories and interpretations of how things were too.
However ‘the body cannot lie’ so when we put ourselves in motion with intention, then the energy that needs to flow will flow. The postures of our body and the dance we inhabit will show a thousand more times what words fail to express, we can see how a body has taken on abuse, or been bullied or subjected to verbal accusation or unkindness.
We can see where there has been love and tenderness and encouragement to be proud in the world.
Still the memories that we feel exist and that we wish to explore will find its way to the skins surface and remind us that there is a dance to be danced.
As the music plays and the dancer is invited through the body to begin its exploration, the heart may well open a little more than in our every day lives, some of the times were we forgot to express ourselves will now be given their opportunity and emotion will be felt and sound will be heard, tears may fall and the dancer releasing what it knows to be true will find its movement and shapes of misfortune and loss, anger and hurt may then begin to form themselves into the dance. And then the memories show themselves, one by one or many at a time, reminding us of the past and showing us a way to heal, to make right and if we can never make right then to allow the body to shed what has been held there for many years, unspoken, unseen and unsung.
Memory is but a thread of a dream that is tied to the fragmented soul, it follows us around grabbing hold of other memories and weaving them together. Our life can become a collage of many happenings, pictures and questions to be asked.
I have a wonderful mother-out-law, Brenda May (I’m not married to Ben so out-law seems appropriate and we rather like it) Brenda is an artist and she paints wonderful images of her past memory of the houses she once lived in.
Some of the images are quite intense and others very subtle yet always to me with a sense of mystery about them. One particular quote I like of Brenda’s is ‘Memory is not a storage place, but a story we tell ourselves’ She also writes on one of her collages ‘Old houses stimulate memories – memories are fragmented and fractured somewhere between dreams and reality’
Brenda’s paintings are well worth taking a look at.
What happens between dreams and reality, as we begin to search within the corners of our own ‘houses’ our own body, our breath, our artist and our dancer. We discover a route to soul retrieval, understanding the dance and seeking within our hearts, making an enquiry to the dancer, asking ourselves ‘what do I need to remember?’
Will that same dancer show us as we drop deeper and deeper into the dream time, into the essence of reality, somewhere blending and mixing our own visionary ability to make sense of the emotional depth we might feel.
Sometimes the emotions feel so strong and our own ‘house’ rocks on its foundations, the painter places a brush into a corner, a crevice, a line appears or a shadowed area, the artist takes a breath or two, as the hand trembles and continues its journey, mapping out the feelings that begin to emerge as they form themselves in colors or movement, one shape after another is created, the artist and the dancer become one together as the structure of this creative outpouring begins to take form. There is no doubt that this is a memory unfolding, but whose memory? The unique memory of the artist, whether she holds a paint brush, or whether her body is the paint brush on the stage of life, the art is being shown to us and made reality.
Whose reality and does it matter? What seems to matter is the creative juice that forms emotion and as it displays itself it begins to touch into the hearts of others, stimulating their own feelings and depth of soul. A web is woven and the world of the unseen is brought to life.
Each of the houses I have lived in hold memories, every corner and garden wall, the shrubs and bracken and each room where I either sat, slept or shared with others. The windows I peered through, the eating places and where my animals curled in their corners. Some of these memories fill me with joy or a sense of peace and love, then there are others that I know I must quietly contemplate as the memory inhabits the shadowy areas of my mind and spirit. Then I must dance, or paint, then I must create that collage or write of the darkness as all manner of feelings emerge. And so it goes, as the healing becomes artistry and the memories a tapestry of life on a page.
I recall the house that was so cold,
I felt that ghostly presence around me.
A stillness that breathed the warm air
as it left my lungs,
making a flow of moisture ahead of me,
watching it I felt the atmosphere of the house
draw it into it
and play nimbly through its fingers
a little of my own life force.
And now only since moving away
am I able to see a little more clearly
the effect it was having on me.
Another memory to take with me
along with the other twenty five or more houses
that my life has shared a part of.
Leaving home yet again, leaving a nest that has been created, for a purpose. We move on and begin once more to not only create a new home, but to re-create a new part of ourselves, to step into a different era within our lives.