Finding My Way To The Expanded Me

Can you see the woman in the tree?

How many times have I driven by  the tree leaving the bank?   At least twice a week for three years.  And yet it was only yesterday that I saw the woman in the tree.

Can you see her in the photo above.  Her legs, her belly button, and one breast off to the right.  Her reaching armpits.  Her jutting left hip, the slight twist to her torso.   She becomes all tree after that, her many arms branching towards the sky.

It makes me wonder what else I haven’t seen.

Yesterday afternoon I had  acupuncture for the first time in about 10 years.  I went for the aching joints in my elbows, toe and thumbs.  I laughed when I told Shawna, the Acupuncturist, they were sewing injuries.  All that repetitive motion.

But what I’ve really been thinking about is how I’ve felt so disconnected from my body lately.  Since come back from India really.

I feel like I’m getting a grasp on it intellectually.  It’s as if by going to India I stepped so far out of myself in so many different ways,  the “me” I was before the trip hasn’t caught up with the reality of this new expanded me.

Sabina, an anthropologist,  wrote to me about the Rites of Passage.  Remember your initiation dream, she wrote.

The Rites of Passage has three parts.  There’s  the rite of separation, where a person leaves what is familiar.  Liminality is the next stage.  The threshold, that marks the passage from one stage to the next.  Then there is the postliminal stage, where the person incorporates her new self back into society.

Usually there are ceremonies that take place around these rites.  Religious ceremonies when an adolescent becomes an adult.  Or secular  ceremonies such as graduation and going to college.  Traditionally there are elders to pass on the wisdom and structure  of moving from one stage to another.

The idea of the  Rites of Passage  has helped me make sense of what I’m going through.

But I still feel off.  And I think it’s because, now,  I need to embody what I know intellectually.  My mind may be in the postliminal stage, but my body is still in liminality.

Because it’s our bodies, that hold the stresses, our muscles and cells remember when our mind doesn’t want to.

And I can see it’s true, because I’ve been having a hard time with my body.  Inertia has set in.  Keeping me from doing the things, that keep me connected and in tune with my inner workings.

I’ve only done yoga a handful of times in the past month and a half.  And I’ve been meaning to get a massage even longer. But something keeps me from acting.

Two days ago I found some Gabrielle Roth and The Mirrors and made myself move to their music in my studio.  It felt so good, but also made clear how long it’s been and how disconnected I’ve been feeling from my body.  Like seeing the woman in the tree for the first time.  There all along, I could hardly get closer, yet I was so unaware.

I had plans to get a lot of work done last night when I got home from acupuncture.  But I was so dreamy, after eating some roasted vegetables for dinner, I feel asleep on the couch.  It was one of those deep healing sleeps. Jon work me a few hours later, a little concerned.  It’s not something I usually do.  “I haven’t blogged”, I mumbled. Then got up and went to bed.

This morning I feel relaxed and less achy in a way I haven’t in a very long time.  I know the acupuncture  rearranged something inside of me.

“The needles touch the pressure points which release  Chi”, my friend told me years ago when she was studying acupuncture and practicing on me.  Picture a stream with a log jam and the logs suddenly releasing, the water running freely.

I’m picturing it.  I’m feeling it.  And I have every intention of fully occupying  my new expanded mind and body.  As much as I sometimes feel like running and hiding from it.  I’ll do what ever I have to, for as long as it takes.




13 thoughts on “Finding My Way To The Expanded Me

  1. Hi Maria, great pic of that tree woman – she seems quite obvious once you see it, doesn’t she! I have 3 big trees on one side of my yard that have all have faces on their lower trunks facing my picnic table, so I often wonder what they’re thinking about. I also have a GIANT oak tree right in the middle of my backyard (half the reason I bought my house) – last summer I felt compelled to put a fairy door in my garden at the base of it, can’t imagine a better place for fairies to live! Have a good weekend!

  2. Maria, I saw “her” right away! I also have a “thing” on my property; I’ll send you a photo of it soon – and you can tell me what you think it looks like to you.
    Have a nice weekend, Nancy

  3. That is “tree” in yoga to me. I love it. What a fiber design you could make from this tree. I got my posters today, in tact, despite the mere single tape on each end. Can’t wait to frame them! Now the postcard moved to a bowl of shells from Sanibel, Fla. There is so much to this blog.I think an important point here is “for however long it takes”. I need to hear this Maria. Let’s be patient and kind to ourselves. (Kudos to you for the acupuncture). My R. eye is awesome now. It’s like I’ve stepped out of an old sepia cowboy town to the middle of Home Depot!Vision also is keener. But now I must give it 3 weeks again to see if my brain can organize these eyes to work together. The old lens that I had placed in 2012 is still there but totally blocked by a swollen cornea.So……sorry to bore…but I guess this is a titch of a setback. I needed to hear your strong reserve. I needed to be reminded that things will happen in their own time, not mine. xoxo to you, sweet Maria

  4. This tree is amazing and at first glance I saw dancing, the waving of arms in joy for aging, advancing. Thank you so much for that explanation of the Rites of Passage. I know I have been stuck in some places several times Acupuncture and massage do work very well to move the chi, and you have reminded me how much I need to do it sooner rather than later. It used to work very well for me on a regular basis when I was working. The rite of passage at retirement needs a little more celebrating.
    Hoping your pain will ease out.

    1. That’s a big one Marcia. I like the idea of celebrating retirement more. Just the word retirement seems to suggest an end and not the new beginning it can be. A new awakening, not a resting or sleeping. Maybe a new word is needed.

  5. I felt washed over with sadness when I read this, so busy tackling the to-do lists that I don’t give myself the time to feel the nuances, the rhythms,
    the spirits talking as I do my daily life.

  6. I have not thought about Gabrielle Roth and The Mirrors in years. Time to reconnect and move with them.

  7. Good to remember Maria. No matter how this eye circle-jerk turns out, I will get through it and back to my life. That’s what I do. I was born July 6th and am a Cancer.I am tenacious and hold on with my strong claws to all I have. A mixed blessing. I will do what it takes and get back for my pony kisses. This was pony day for both of us. First time I spent with Melody since the eye surgery!

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