It had gone unnoticed.
It has probably been there for several days, this actual glob (for lack of a better term) of not wanting to give voice to anything for the past few days, since the nightmares started. Three nights in a row of troublesome dreams that don’t seem to want to let go.
Processing in the morning with Pegi, my long-time, ever patient friend during the unexpectedly eye opening app known as Snap Chat.
I heard it while I had a teddy bear face, I believe, and a squeaky voice. A slight almost unconscious clearing of my throat. A choking back, a holding on of something or nothing or I don’t know I just know it was there and while I am working through the depth of this
It is at that point where I think I will just go back to where and what I was no matter how badly it sucked maybe feeling better isn’t worth feeling the choking sensation I felt.
My deep awareness of choking came not from a past life, but from a question asked by my therapist and I believe a memory – a place I visited when I went to Katherine’s wedding. A space where I almost choked to death as a child on a gum ball.
The exact space where my mother worked diligently to save my life was now the entry way to a Starbucks, the Grand Union now long gone.
i sit with my hands folded, waiting, tired, the tired not being real but being a block – a not wanting to go here and the choking in my throat my shadow side – whatever name you want to put on it that the strong intentional me knows is a barricade over the door marked “Transformation! This way to feeling so much better! This cloggy thing is temporary like how you have learned to use a plunger to get rid of blocks in drains when you used to helplessly call someone because you couldn’t do it and now you can!”
I realize then I never set my timer. Naturally. This was supposed to be a five minute writing in a carefully created container so I would be able to stop without falling apart.
(I set this writing aside and came back to it the next morning.)
7:15 am the next day. That choking sensation is a reminder from my most animal self, “This is what it feels like when you were dying. Beware. You don’t want to come close to death again.”
So no matter how irrational my adult brain is, no matter what I know as a smart, in step, working consistently on self-growth version of me, this protective animal brain pops in and chokes me to remind me, “You came close once, don’t risk it again.”
The thing is, when I don’t risk – when I don’t confront my darkness and bring it into the light so I may come to know it in a way that stirs and builds and constructs and translates and somehow makes good – I risk even more.
When I sit on the edge of choking, I live in fear of it.
When I instead say to my visceral animal self, “I know this is scary and I know we can and will survive and it will be so much more dynamic than we could ever imagine just please trust and be invigorated and become whole with me again so that we may have the impact we were meant to have all along…”
This is how the process of re-orientation begins. This is when we may get back into step with all aspects of ourselves – the afraid choking side of ourself who longs for reassurance and the bold, brash one who speaks without thinking and sometimes destroys bridges before you’ve crossed them.
I remember my acting teacher coaching me, when I was literally petrified in my performance. I felt outclassed and stupid in my first musical and he said, “What are you so afraid of? Every person here wants you to succeed.”
Every part of you wants you to succeed and many of us here, on the outside, do, too.
I rest my hands off the keyboard again. Another writing time of five minutes (plus a few extra) and I went from choking and being afraid and not wanting to go further to having an enormous, long needed insight.
by the way, if you wondered what happened with the bad dreams: I didn’t have any nightmares last night. I dreamed of sharing a meal around a table with friends. I dreamed about having a positive experience at Samuel’s school. I dreamed of talking to a friend I’ve been missing lately. I dreamed of expanding the circle because what we originally thought was just right was too small.
I dreamed I wasn’t afraid and I didn’t have to choke.
I can write, reflect and meditate. Wake up and write again and feel better.
Julie Jordan Scott inspires people to experience artistic rebirth via her programs, playshops, books, performances and simply being herself out in the world. She is a writer, creative life coach, speaker, performance poet, Mommy-extraordinaire and mixed-media artist whose Writing Camps and Writing Playgrounds permanently transform people’s creative lives. Watch for the announcement of new programs coming in soon!
To contact Julie to schedule a Writing or Creative Life Coaching Session, call or text her at 661.444.2735.