Stuck in a Rut, or Hiding From Life?

I woke up this morning feeling a bit tired and unsettled, an all too familiar state of late.  I had been having trying dreams again that reflected some conflict and imbalance on deep inner levels, but their origins were not readily apparent to my mind.  I knew I’d have to consciously look for them while my inner self(s) might dodge and weave to obscure what they didn’t want to come to light.  I pictured it like some spy movie, the hero trying to follow his quarry through twisting back alleys of some old European city as they split up to slip away into the shadows.

I used some Kinesiology (muscle testing) to get past my surface thinking and down into the deeper levels of my psyche.  I spoke mostly to my “You” part (as in “You know what I’m talking about…”) and found that part’s answers to indicate that it was in pretty good shape.  Hmm.  Then why the unsettled feeling, I wondered?  I could feel the compression, so where was it and what was it about?  I continued to check in.

Mentally, I knew that things were going really well for us and that my wife Kate, myself, and our center were headed for a bright future despite the sometimes desperate look of the world around us.  Emotionally, I felt flat, bored, and stuck in a rut.  I muscle tested about being in a rut and got results indicating an admission that I was (no surprise there) but that my inner self(s) had no interest in coming up out of it.  I recognized the safety of ruts derived of their familiarity; well worn paths through life that an old blacksmith friend of mine used to quaintly describe as: “just a grave with the ends kicked out.”

When I told Kate what I was getting about being in a rut, she agreed.  We had fallen into little ruts here and there that we knew might not be serving us well, but felt less than enough impetus to steer back out of.  She talked about the beautiful tipi our beloved Mesa had been gifted and how that would bring new energy and direction into our life.  I agreed with her, mainly because I could feel it already building.  When she began talking about her impatience to get started painting the canvas cover and the need to prepare the many 27 foot long poles (my job) I could feel a part of me cringe.  I wanted to be excited about the whole thing, but it was obvious that I was conflicted about it.  I recognized that it wasn’t just about the tipi, but that the thought of it was bringing something more to the surface.

As Kate and I talked about my hesitancy to begin the work, I muscle tested with myself about my resistance.  Then something pulled at my attention.  I hadn’t checked in lately with “brad” (small ‘b’).  “He” was the part of me having trouble with the way things were going and wanted to keep traveling the rut because it allowed avoidance of something.  As I thought about “brad” and his rut, I didn’t see it like wagon track grooves from some old western.  It appeared in my mind’s eye as far deeper than that—more like an entrenchment from some WWI saga.  It was way over my head and some part of me paced back and forth in it without ever being seen.  My rut didn’t go anywhere and was big enough to hide in.

We may like to envision ourselves as monolithic in nature, but inside we are very complex, multileveled, and often fragmented assemblages of energy, thought, emotion, and ?? (mystery).  Life’s traumas have often caused us to arrange self-defined “parts” of ourselves to deal with specific aspects of our experience, be it past, present, or future.  In extreme cases they show up as multiple and very distinct “split personalities”, but for most of us they find ways to work as a loose-knit unit.  Mine seemed a bit like a platoon from some combat movie I’d seen with a cast of characters that weaved in and out.  There was “the brave one”, “the coward”, “the brain”, “the lover”, etc, all trying to get the mission done and just stay alive.  Some of these characters are actually one in the same (“You”, “brad”, and “I”), but act out different roles in different situations.  We are very complicated.

What I was getting was a glimmer of the part(s) that constituted “brad” experiencing anxiety about something that inaction could avoid, and the puzzle began to become clearer.  Emotional “brad” was hiding, a theme we had partially dealt with before, and wanted to stay right where he was, hidden from view in his deep rut.  I knew that a Guided Head Movement healing could unlock whatever made “brad” want to stay hidden.  It was just a question of what prompt or suggestion he needed to hear during the head movements to help him unlock the door.  “brad” wanted to hide from pretty much everyone, but there was one person who could likely draw him out.

The obvious was for Kate to ask “brad” to come out, specifically for her.  I knew that part of myself had been looking for my spiritual twin since before we ever met, but hard to describe things made “him” (me) keep his distance, something people do in various ways in relationships to feel safe.  We may call it personal “space” but it’s much more than physical.

As close as we had become in many ways I still obscured part of myself from Kate, something we both could feel and knew needed to be resolved to further our joint spiritual mission.  We had been sensing into it and had recently discussed the issue.  When I told Kate with sadness about “brad’s” hiding she moved to hug me, and I could feel a push-pull that my desire for togetherness overruled.  As we embraced, I had to admit to myself that I could not be totally present with the feeling of her drawing me in at that moment—or maybe at all.  We settled on “I want ‘brad’ to stop hiding from me” as the request she would make as she guided my head through the no/yes movements of our healing technique.

As Kate made the request and started rolling my head for “NO!” I felt a kind of numbness.  Then I saw the reason for the hiding with a memory of trying to hide from my enraged father.  There was no place to go in a physical sense, so “I” took the beating and put my emotional part somewhere for safekeeping, stashing my inner child under the floorboards like I’d seen people do in stories about the Holocaust.  Tears came out and so did my inner “brad”.  I felt a weird and indescribable compressed “something” down in the left side of my solar plexus open back up like a relaxing fist.  I was letting go of the shame and despair I felt over my beloved father’s rejection of me, something I never wanted anyone else to see.

As I later sat writing this, Kate came into our home office to tell me she was leaving on an errand.  When I turned from the computer, she hugged me and my head came to rest against her heart.  As I listened to its beating, I found myself wanting to melt into it and have it wrap around me.  In a warm little wave I allowed it to do so and sensed how much I had yearned for that feeling when I was a child.  All I had wanted back then was to have someone envelop me safely in their heart, but the grief I felt when my parents closed their fragile hearts to my young self necessitated sending that part of me into exile to keep my delicate sanity in an untenable situation.  That part was never shown it was safe to come back out.

When you drive by the big flat hill we call The Mesa on PA route 18, you can clearly see the big white building that houses our spiritual and creative center, but there’s nothing all that distinctive that jumps out at you to draw you there.  The signage space provided us by our landlord is minimal and easy to miss and even those who are looking for us sometimes pass the turn.  All that will change when our tipi goes up this spring.  It (and we) will be unmistakable and highly visible from the highway.  We know it will turn heads as people pass, becoming a landmark too big to hide.  “brad” had been uneasy about this and the exposure it will bring.  Luckily, the spiritual necessity of it precipitated a needed change because I was somehow ready enough to face it instead of continuing to hide.

We have heard from many people lately who have felt like they are riding some kind of weird roller coaster.  One moment they are full of energy, the next they feel drained.  They get up one morning feeling joyful, but by mid-afternoon they feel depressed.  They see motivation evaporate into lethargy in the blink of an eye, and self assurance melt into fear and doubt without warning.

We remind all of our Mesa “tribe” that the energies of Creation are oscillating at vastly sped up rates compared to only a few years ago—and are still picking up speed.  If you graphed it, a vibration that used to look like slow, gentle ripples now appears as closely packed tsunamis.  This is something that we are all experiencing with or without awareness, but doesn’t get any “Severe Weather Center 17!” kind of media attention because it can’t yet be mechanically measured like the solar storms it’s causing.  The Plan is to nudge and increasingly shove us into change; to give up what we’re clinging to and move into a new way of being for our own good and the survival of our planet.  We won’t be able to hide from it much longer.  Ollie, Ollie, oxen free!

About Brad Silberberg

Brad Silberberg, director of The Mesa Creative Arts Center in Burgettstown, PA (Pittsburgh area) is an artist, holistic healer, spiritual leader, and change agent.
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