Written by Joy Young.
A correction in my life has seemed to be around the concept of suffering. It's interesting, because through the suffering came an extreme amount of lessons, understanding, growth, deliverance as well as debilitation, tears, passion, and a life energy that was screaming to get out, but that was habitually suppressed. Young in age, I was sexually assaulted by a neighbor. This set up a huge amount of denial in my future life.
I had decided to hide this story from even myself and in doing so, I stifled the sexual part of myself. I stifled the part of me that was screaming to get out and explore pleasure without guilt, the creative and expressive part of me that wanted to live. It was as though a tug of war was set up between being fully expressed and shutting down completely. I went to all extremes in life looking for the key that would set me free. And then I fell in love. Or as I like to put it, I began to climb in love ;)
What is Love?
I'm still figuring that one out, but I tell you one thing. It feels real good. I have a partner who cares about me and who wants only good things for me. Some times I feel like he knows me better than I know myself. Or he just sees me without all the clutter. The healing process has been accelerated since he came along, but I'll tell you this much... The lessons on love did not first appear only when I came together with this man. Rather, I had been searching my whole life simply to understand:
Wait a minute. Take a breath. There is only love here. YOU ARE SAFE.
Connecting to breath is what allowed me to discover the secrets I had been hiding from myself. All of a sudden I was becoming much more connected to the way that I was feeling Being aware of feeling was proving to be very critical in life. Understanding that I had been suppressing my feelings for all these years and relating it to the pain and suffering I was experiencing, made me take a second look at all these feelings I was so quick to sweep under the carpet.
If I chose to acknowledge my feelings, I may just be acknowledging... myself! And, I may just be able to take this energy that is burning to be explored outwardly instead of swimming in my belly not knowing where to go. 'Breathe. You are safe.' Instilled young at age was a fear, a belief... that the world was not safe.
Breathe, you are safe.
It all came down to having faith and realizing that to me, ultimate freedom comes hand in hand with the unknown and being able to be present in it. Things happen, when they happen.
At around the same age that the assault occurred, a wolf dressed in plaid began to make an appearance in my bedroom late at night. I would first see his eye peeking out of the closet door and he would walk out on his hind legs dressed in at cap and vest.
Later in life, during my spiritual travels, I came across the concept of Totem Animals. Totem Animals in the shamanic traditions among others, suggest that we are assisted throughout our lives by the essence of various animals.
In Israel one summer studying in a school at the top of a mountain in the west, the spirit of wolf one day came to visit me in meditation, reawaking our connection in full force. Here is a poem that was written shortly after the fact:
Place: The Unknown
Creation: Rebirth of Health
I heard you in the hallway.
Did you come through my door?
Suddenly you were in my bedroom...
Is this a dream?
Breathe, just Breathe.
I couldn't move even if I wanted to.
Hashem, are you with me??? Is this for real?
Breathe, just Breathe.
I felt the weight of your body pressing into the mattress that I lay on.
One, two, three...
The sniffing and soft noises followed.
I tried to turn,
Tried to move.
Sensing my struggle, you came to a Holt.
You continued to sniff out the ground.
Up my spinal chord,
Taking your time.
One, Two, Three.
There we go,
Found a spot.
You stayed put for a while and you worked on it.
Hashem is this from you, if it is, I will not doubt it.
It is? I will
Open my body...
Allow for the Golden spirit of Wolf to enter my spine.
I hang my head low for no one.
The fear of violation faced.
Acceptance has made me whole again.
Peace, Love, Unity
Now: watch the sound of my growl!
Upon researching this totem I came to understand that those with the totem of wolf are expressive both vocally and physically. Those who have the wolf as their totem animal are naturally eloquent in speech, and also have knack for creative writing. Through this research, I came to ask myself the two following questions:
Was I communicating myself clearly to others?
Until today, I check in to make sure that the answers to these questions are yes. Now, try this on for size as a bed-time story:
Little Red Riding Hood with all her glory became Bad Ass all the way. Not trembling in the presence of The Big Bad Wolf, who looked at her with those Big Eyes. But rather, rising to the occasion and showing the wolf how big her eyes were as well. And indeed... Her eyes were the better to see her own self with. Was I being loyal to myself?
Breathe. You are safe. You are safe.
Joy Young has been drawn to the world of color since she was a child. Her expressive nature led her to bring her inner world of dancing color to the stage as a musical performer. However, through her own life's hardship she chose to use her abilities to help others. She became a Yoga Instructor, an Expressive Arts Therapist and a Reiki Master.
She began to understand that magical things could happen simply by rubbing your hands together. Beginning to accept her heightened awareness and sensitivity that is exactly what began to occur. All of a sudden realized that combining her skills:
- Her yogic breath
- Her therapeutic listening skills
- Her love of life
All came together to form a unique and safe healing adventure.
Dare to face the self, leave the past behind and move on to something you. Choose your life rather than being inflicted. It's all in the perception.
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