liking it on the edge…7-19-22

My grandson wants to hike the 16 mile round trip to the top of Half Dome in Yosemite.  And he asked if I would come with him.  An immediate “yes” emerged from my lips, totally surprised me, flushed me with surging memories of the 90’s.  The decade I climbed to the top of Half Dome not once or twice, but three times.  My possible claim to fame.   Co-led a very large group of women twice and, sandwiched in between, fit in another ascent with hubby and son.

“I like it on the edge, and I take others with me.”  Gabrielle Roth

I have my own unique set of fears but being on the edge is not one of them.  I trust that place both physically and metaphorically.  It’s where my most potent learning happens.  Grant me a clear container, a space held with consummate skill, and I’m entirely willing, eager in fact, to go right up to my edge.  Sometimes I fall off and precious gold is almost always mined in the recovery. For me, experience turns to wisdom in that space of re-finding ground, realigning with center and integrating something new.

Last newsletter focused on a most interesting organ: the bladder.  I wrote about how in the field of limited awareness, this opportunistic creature can exert perhaps some unnecessary control over our lives.  How it can demand release before release is needed.  I gave some informational norms so readers could feel into their own relationship with this organ.  The response was heartening.  Many of you wrote, grateful for the information and curious about checking out habits long-engrained.

I received one response from a reader triggered by the content.  The language felt shaming.  It brought up anxiety issues. A request for an apology. Which I readily proffered.  And I extend that apology to anyone else who may have had a similar response.  Totally.  This, of course, was never the intention.  Deeply sorry.

And there is this to consider.  Triggered: having a negative emotional reaction to something, usually something connected with past trauma.  Fact: everyone reading these words has past trauma.   This is one reason holding space for transformational learning and healing can be tricky.   Because even though we all have past trauma, many of us (not all!) learn best by working on the very edges where triggering is likely to occur.

I’m grateful that the common knowledge base regarding trauma continues to be filled out.  We know that a painful destruction of old habits, those pesky unviable ways, often precedes the possibility for a life-changing creative healing process.  We know that after the demolition, a space must be held for settling and integration in order to complete a learning cycle.

But here’s the truth: I like it on the edge, and I take others with me. And creating a 100% safe, trigger-free environment is just not the way I work…or write.  That being said, I’m gratefully aware of how the years have kindly softened and gentled me as I continue to work in this potent field.  But do consider yourself forewarned.

With all due respect….❤️Bella