Healing After a Car Accident, Part 2
By Kathy Ungerecht, Senior Authorized JSD Teacher, Anchorage, Alaska
(See the 2006 Acupressure News for Part 1)
The quote on the white board in Anchorage read: "When the heart opens, the first thing that comes out is the tears that closed it down." - Iona, '97 ITTP.
Today was the fourth day of the Intermediate Jin Shin Do® class and the focus was the Heart and Small Intestine Meridians. I had just finished talking about the Heart meridian and its emotional associations, including joyfulness. Tears welled up in my eyes and memories started to flood through my mind like a picture show, taking me by surprise. I decided to share a story I had never shared before.
In 1997, at the Jin Shin Do® Master Class with Iona Marsaa Teeguarden and Debby Valentine Smith in Massachusetts, I was a demo subject on the last day of class. My upper back, neck and shoulders had been bothering me. All the eyes of the class were on me as I lay on the table, receiving. As Debby and Iona held points, I felt the sharpness and clarity of the point locations and realized this was what it meant to be in the exact center of the points.
During the session, I was quiet and calm. I did not process or share, and at the end I felt relaxed. I went to get off the table. When my feet touched the floor, much to my surprise, I began to sob and cry. I literally fell into Iona's arms, crying like a hysterical little girl. Between sobs I thanked her for the gift of Jin Shin Do®, which had saved my life. I was embarrassed by my unexpected outburst of emotion.
As I recalled this story, I also shared that I used to wonder what was wrong with me because I could not feel or experience any heartfelt emotion. I felt like I was in a numb state - like I was inside a shell or had a shield around me. I lacked enthusiasm, spark and vitality. I was incapable of experiencing an emotional high or low. I wanted and tried to feel the power of emotions, but I was unable to experience any true wave of heartfelt emotion, due to 'armoring' or chronic tension that had built up from numerous heartaches, stresses, and physical injuries.
After that powerful session, I felt and experienced joy! I wanted to sing, dance and play like a child. I wanted to laugh, love and live life to the fullest.
I was reminded of a quote by Iona: "As we creatively extend ourselves into the world, we then become that self that we truly are." I paused. As I lectured on the importance of the Small Intestine Meridian in recovery from physical or emotional stress, I realized I'd had huge amounts stress due to injuries resulting from a bad car accident, and I'd had the added stress of a lengthy, bitter divorce.
In The Joy of Feeling, Iona says imbalance in the Small Intestine meridian creates shoulder tension, causing the upper ribs to become raised, which limits breathing, constricts the chest, and restricts the heart's openness. When the shoulders are relaxed, the messages of the heart can reach the head. When the chest area is armored, there is less energy available for feeling and expressing joy. Decreased self-confidence is common. As I pieced the picture of my experience together, I visualized Iona and Debby breaking the shell or shield of protective armoring and enabling my spirit to emerge. When my shoulders relaxed and my chest was open, my wings (scapula) and my spirit were free, so I could soar. In that one treatment, I broke through the armoring.
Suddenly I could breathe deeply. I could feel. But "when the Heart opens, the first thing that comes up is the tears that closed it down." The reason for my uncontrollable crying in Iona's arms was that my heart had opened, allowing feelings of peace, love and joy to fill me.
That JSD session helped make it possible for me to become the self that I truly am. My self-confidence grew and my career, teaching and relationships evolved. The pieces of my life came together and I was able to embrace it all with an open heart. I had that enthusiasm and spark that I had longed for.
Today my Heart energy is still balanced, allowing me to be able to have fun and play. My joy is about more than just having fun. There is joy in feeling connected with others, and in being able to be more spontaneous and passionate about life in general. With joy comes more self-love and courage. My life is vibrant, exciting, rewarding and full.
One of my students once said, "Pursue as an adult what made time stand still as a child." One way I have gotten in touch with "childlikeness" is by rediscovering the joy of skating. I bundle up, put on my earmuffs and skate on the frozen lagoon, grinning from ear to ear just like I did when I was a child.
As a child I had a wonderful wooden rowboat that was my refuge. I was recently blessed with a new wooden rowboat. On the wonderful Alaskan summer weekends, I row for hours just as I did when I was a child. I love my rowboat. It brings me much inner peace and happiness. It has helped me to realize whatever makes me smile will nourish me. I seek it out. I laugh more, especially at myself. When life gets too serious, I know it's time to lighten up.
Albert Schweitzer said, "In everyone's life, at some time, our inner fire goes out. It is then burst into flame by an encounter with another human being. We should all be thankful for those people who rekindle the inner spirit."
I will always be grateful to Iona and Debby for that very powerful treatment, which reignited my inner fire. It allowed me to feel, be open to the kaleidoscope of emotions, and be more accepting of love. I will be careful to fuel the fire, and continually strive to find the balance that allows the flame to burn.
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