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The elevator took me up to the fortieth floor and I found a deep passageway into my subconscious mind. Facing our demons has a profound impact on the capacity to dissolve them and that Sunday afternoon I decided to take it on. Whatever wanted to show up.

My head laid down on the flat cushion and as I closed my eyes I felt my knees resting on the round pillow. A chill ran over my body and I zipped my jacket all the way to the top. This time I had no blanket to cover my vulnerable body. Deep chest inhales and exhales, letting air flow only from the mouth; hyperventilating on purpose for an hour is not for the weak of heart. This was my second experience so I invited anxiety knowing that it would be a transformative session. Having two facilitators there made me relax and open to the experience, I knew I was in nurturing company.

The music started beating and rhythmically guiding my breathing. I suddenly had the image of rowing on a massive wooden ship with a raw bulky man beating down on a large drum to coordinate and motivate everyone. For I was not alone. There were about twenty of us, lying in two long rows with our heads by the center aisle. I could not forget they were there as I heard the sound of air rushing in and then blowing out from their chests in relief.

Tingling started around my lips and as my hands cramped up forcefully, my arms started to slide up across the floor. In a matter of seconds I was tense with pain in my torso and extremities, a condition called tetany. I broke out into a hot sweat of discomfort. As the instructor leaned down to reassure me, I asked her to open my jacket as I was already soaked and unable to help myself. She whispered in my ear that it was the guilty conscious; my hands were clasped harshly with the index finger pointing towards my body, particularly my chest. It was impossible to control my fingers and any intention to change their position resulted in needles having their way. Sensing my back was arched against the floor, I kept on breathing telling myself not to invite any additional tension.

Rough wooden stakes going through the palm of my hands. The image was suddenly vivid and alive… I was crucified! My arms were stretched out with nails holding my hands down inescapably. “You crucify yourself!”, my inner voice accused me. “You do this to yourself!”. Thoughts twirled restlessly, my lungs took a break (forgetting to breath several times) and then I instructed my brain to continue pumping the oxygen. “Let go! All you have to do is let go!”, the answer came to me clearly. A voice of inner wisdom? I understood how simple it was but I had such difficulty in being able to carry it out. I acknowledged I wanted to be free and my mind focused on my liberation. I told myself to keep breathing. Patience. The nature of this technique is that it carries trapped emotions in the form of energy to the extremities where they dissolve. The worst had passed, I was sure of that and I trusted that eventually I would break free. I could move my fingers ever so slightly. Until finally…

Serenity took over with a feeling of elation and bliss: it was the joy of understanding and having the courage to face negative emotions within me. I curled myself like a cat on the yoga mat and images of people I love came to me, flooding my heart with warmth and tenderness. Voices swirling around tried to summon me back. I wanted to stay lost in my peaceful trance but I was called back to reality. I memorized that sensation within me and stepped back into the studio where everyone was ready for some tea and to share their experience.

The facilitator told me that it’s common for people to experience this guilty conscience position at some point and yet everyone had a unique happening. The more you do this process, the fewer emotions (that condition our reactions) there are to clear. It doesn’t have to be a ‘painful’ trip to the subconscious like mine was; a fellow voyageur actually had a blissful experience throughout.

My hands continued to shake as the hot herbal tea soothed my body. I sat quietly reliving the past hour and bringing awareness to the teachings. Personally, I didn’t believe that guilt was an important issue in my life, and yet I understood that we all have things to work on at varying degrees. Denying it would just delay my growth. Letting go wasn’t a new concept for me that day, it has been filtering into my nervous system for several months now. Surrender, letting life flow instead of controlling it, has the gesture of open arms and head hanging with humility. That image mapped on to my crucifixion figure; completely opposite experiences and yet the difference between them so subtle: open hands in acceptance instead of nailed and bleeding pain. The transition seemed simple and straightforward.

Moving away from a life of ego towards oneness requires determination, focus and a strong intension. I realized that by surrendering to this experience I was graced with an opportunity to grow and experience Joy. I’m looking forward to more of these sessions and to recognize situations where I can let go in my life. Right now, I’m ready to let YOU go. Bye!

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