A place of trauma is isolated and disconnected from current everyday experience. It is a place where I don't have access to myself and my deeper resources.
I pray, but I don't feel heard.
I listen, but feel unanswered.
Trauma is a place of pain without guidance. It is a place where | am profoundly alone. Thrown back on my own solutions, I don't measure up. I fall prey to deep losses of self-esteem, confidence and strength of will. I experience this constellation as failure.
This continuously cycling pattern of failure shows up in gaps in my ability to make connctions; from my past to my future, from myself to others, from my feelings to my thoughts.
The dual practices of Womb journal writing and returning regular submissions for the Biomystical Womb Healing Apprenticeship combine to create a practice that helps heal this rupture of self. Crucially, without being asked to reflect on my experiences, I would not have know where the gaps were. I would not have noticed the gaps at all.
I was first asked to engage in a disciplined reflective practice on my counselling training. I had to write an essay connecting my early childhood experiences to developmental theory. I understood the theory, and was fully aware of my experiences, but when I tried to make sense of my personal history from a theoretical perspective I noticed something strange and unsettling. When I tried to look back to my childhood...I couldn't. My gaze would slide away as if over some invisible boundary, and I would find myself thinking of almost anything else. It took an immense amount of courage and concentration to keep my attention focussed, and what I found there was a gap.
I could drop into my memories of childhood, to be instantly immersed in their subjective immediacy, but when I returned to my writing positiion I came up empty-handed; I couldn't attach my feelings to words. There was a gap where there should be a connection, where information flows between these two modes of awareness. Feeling into myself from an objective perspective I didn't find my feelings, only an absence of feeling, that was terrifying, that felt like I was an absence; I was absent. The terrible fear that I have carried deep within me since the trauma of birth rose to view; that I don't really exist.
This terror has arisen over and over again as I attempt to write back in my submissions to the Apprenticeship. I have encountered deep resistance, procrastination and resentment over the obligation to check back in and say something about myself. I have also felt it as a failure; for all the rich and abundant material on offer I am asked only this one thing, and I often come to the keyboard confused, terrified, incoherent or completely blank, finding nothing to say. I have barely been able to put a sentence together at times. I have felt and expressed a great deal of despair. Why am I writing from my pain again?
The creative, productive aspects of Womb journal writing strengthen my connection through listening and recieving. I find it easy and joyful to tune in to the creative flow running beneath my everyday thoughts. I write as a form of journeying; to meet different aspects of the Goddess, to deepen my relations with herbal and other allies, to hear what is there, and to learn what I need. This kind of writing supports me to go deeper and furher, to discover something new and previously unknowable.
I remember reading Florence Scovel Shinn saying "Prayer is telephoning to God and intuition is God telephoning to you".
Writing is a practice of transfer; creative and reflective as offering and response; a sacred conversation. Because we do this alternating movemet all the time, I don't notice that I flow along lines already established, lines of least resistance, and am not aware of the unconnected areas I avoid. I phone God because I have a phone, without knowing there is a room where I can sit down and have tea with Her.
The writing processes of the Apprenticeship laid a trail of rose petals to her door. Learning to re-centre in the Sacred Feminine has guided me to a rich and fulfilling connection with her Divine presence. In this particular time when connections are remote and real human contact is barely possible, this intimate, felt-sense presence in my daily life has been invaluable, albeit difficult to maintain.
I now understand the value of reflection as a conscious and disciplined practice. This process has brought me right to the centre of my pain, my struggle, my trauma, and it is right where I need to be.
But it took hard work to make use of it. Writing that essay was one of the hardest things I have had to do in my life. it is hand-over-hand work to retrieve what was lost to me, drawing my feelings bucket by bucket into the light of conscious awareness.
I have always kept journals without realising how much more I could gain from this practice. Now I understand what I am trying to do when I write. The more I work with a reflective discipline the more sound is my relationship to my Womb Wisdom.
With a sacred intention and the willingness to work where it hurts, writing weaves a bridge of words, thoughts, feelings, connections, that becomes a solid foundation. Then I can dive back in to the creative stream, sing, shout, follow the river, come up again to breathe and reflect. It finds its own rhythm, and produces its own kind of joy.
This way of writing is developing into a lifelong practice that I honour and value. Facing into the pain, the fear, the absences and gaps I write someething I can't say yet, until I can. This recreates my Divine connection, and so is a way of healing in its own right.