The weekend before last, I attended the first four days of the Fluid Development course which I asked Cherionna Menzam Sills to create (My Blog Post: Meridians: do they represent our cellular memory of our embryological development and how can we tune into this more?). Cherionna used some of Bonnie Bainbridge’s experiential anatomy work (Body Mind Centring) , which she interpreted in her way by combining with Emile Conrad’s continuum work and her own experiences through these practices but also as a cranial sacral therapist and teacher of womb work.
A lot of the time was spent in self exploration exercises and then sharing. We repeated the exercises many times and each time would bring up another layer of experiences. The point of this work is that by going back to our most early stages of development we can re connect with our potential before we layered it over with the various experiences we have had in life. It is completely amazing work and it was a wonderful supportive space to be in an all women group, all of us working deeply and sharing deeply.
In this process we can release any patterning which is no longer helpful and then have a chance to connect more directly with the present moment. Or at least, that is how I experience it. I feel at this time in my own life, I am ready to let go of old patterns which served me as a developing fetus and a young child, but which no longer serve me as a mature adult. I have spent much of my life exploring how to tap into my potential, beyond held patterns, primarily through my work with shiatsu, meditation and Block Clearance work , but what we have experienced in utero is not that easy to let go of! However deep stuff is finally shifting! I am sure through the combination of these different approaches plus my life experiences.
During these days more layers were released. One evening I saw a shiatsu client. I wouldn’t normally see a client during a course but this client is a shiatsu practitioner who doesn’t live in Bristol and happened to be in Bristol. As soon as I touched her I felt drawn to working the Extra-ordinary vessels and experienced them at an even deeper level than I usually do. My client afterwards said
“I felt the conception/penetrating vessel at a stronger and far deeper physical level than ever before… it was like a, well like a rope, as you described it on the course (which she did with me last year), something very solid about 2-3cm under the surface of my chest and belly, and as if it were about 5cm thick. My chest felt like something from a cartoon or the Incredible Hulk, that was transforming in bubbles and shifting, creating new shape. Then I felt my chest filling up with blood as you held Sea of Blood points. After your shiatsu, I felt was more myself than I’ve probably ever been, so yes, some deep re-modelling, restructuring of my heart, stamina and desire to live fully… “
This is some of what has been happening to me over the last couple of weeks: especially an opening of the heart and a sense of peace and connection with myself and others.
So what exactly did we do? Here is a snap shot of some of my experiences.
We began with one of Bonnie’s concepts: cellular breathing, interpreted in Cherionna’s way. It is about going back to our earliest time, of the first few days post conception when we are cells dividing. It essentially is about going into a state of deep relaxation and feeling the energy of each cell in every cell in the body. Each time I got into a more fluid sense of my body and a sense of the beginnings and potential. During one session I felt my cells merging with the cells around me and a sense of limitless connection and no separation. Every cell both within and outside my body was pulsating.
Navel radiation breathing
This is based on another concept of Bonnie’s. It involves breathing in from the navel and radiating the breath out to the five limbs of the arms, legs, tail and head. We did this with theta sounds (continuum). One powerful experience of this of me was a very playful, sensuous movement of my body, feeling at times like seaweed swaying and then it naturally went into a spiral movement through the midline.
Amniotic sac and yolk sac
I had done this exercise before on a workshop with Bonnie but was able to go deeper with Cherionna. During an early exercise I felt the amniotic sac at my back was protective and nourishing but the yolk sac at the front felt quite toxic and made me feel sick. My mother was depressed while she was pregnant with me. Several repetitions later I experienced the amniotic sac as the space of the universe and I was floating in the space looking down at the yolk sac which was the earth nourishing me.
We also did breathing from the Midline which I always experienced as very centring and nourishing and mouthing (stimulating the roof of the mouth). Initially the mouthing exercise brought up feelings of sickness, again I wonder if because of me absorbing my mother’s depressive feelings. However by the end I was feeling that I had the choice to experience my body in a positive way and that I now am able to nourish myself in the ways which I choose
So a truly transforming experience. I look forward to our next four days in June when we will be doing birth movements.