(This is an exploration of the 'Expression Seed' from the Bloom Model as outlined in the Bloom Manifesto)
Welcome to one of my favorite seeds. One of the great joys of this work, to me, has been to see people move from being stifled and frustrated, to more and more fully expressed. What full expression means, takes careful consideration, because it is different for each of us, depending on our history, and our constitution.. The pivotal consideration is to lay down the artifice, drop the masks, and to let the essence have his or her voice. It takes careful consideration, because for one person, sitting quietly may be their aligned expression in the moment, and for another, dancing wildly may be required.
There are various forms of expression; creative, verbal, somatic, sexual.
Wilhelm Reich thought that sexual repression was at the root of most neuroses, and most of our crimes in culture. There’s an interesting book, The Sexual Life of Savages (1929), Bronisław Malinowski, where The author essentially did what Weston price did for diet; he studied tribal cultures before the influx of the influences of the industrialized nations. In the Weston Price works, the influences of industrialized nations are dietary, and adversely effect dental health and health generally. In Malinowski’s work, something that comes along with the western society is the patriarchal model. With this, much sexual repression seems to occur automatically. He studied one tribe in particular, The Trobriands, native to a range of islands off the coast of New Guinea, which may be interesting to quote here…
'The Trobriander children are not familiar with sexual repression and sexual secrecy. The sexual life of Trobriander children develops naturally, freely, and without interference through all stages of life with full sexual gratification. The children engage in sexual activity in keeping with their age. In spite of this, or, rather, precisely for this reason, the Trobriander society, in the third decade of this century, was ignorant of any sexual perversions, functional mental illnesses, psychoneuroses, sexual murder; they had no word for theft. In their society, homosexuality and masturbation were looked upon as incomplete and unnatural means of sexual gratification, as a proof that the capacity to experience normal gratification is hampered.'
Reich, Wilhelm (2013-07-02). The Function of the Orgasm: Discovery of the Orgone (p. 230). Farrar, Straus and Giroux. Kindle Edition.
Note, that I harbor no judgements about homosexuality, or anything of that nature. I am merely quoting from this book, which contains a piece of the puzzle.
Now I bring this up, because much of western psychology generally comes down to the same conclusion; that repressed sexual energy is at the root of most of our challenges. So, the cure, is to be fully expressed. Would this be chaos?
Let’s go again to Malinowski’s work…
Non-compulsive, voluntary monogamous marriage, which can be dissolved at any time without difficulties, prevails as the social form of sexual life. There is no promiscuity. A few miles from the Trobriand Islands, on the Amphlett Islands, there lived a tribe having a patriarchal, authoritarian family arrangement. All the characteristics of the European neurotics (distrust, anxiety, neuroses, suicides, perversions, etc.) were already evident in the natives of this island.
Reich, Wilhelm (2013-07-02). The Function of the Orgasm: Discovery of the Orgone (p. 230). Farrar, Straus and Giroux. Kindle Edition.
Some of us can be fully sexually expressed in our current circumstances, and others cannot. We are indoctrinated with a sort of shame around it. This shows up energetically as a dark cloud around sexual organs. And the posture adapting to ‘hide’ sexual features. Knees turning in, another anatomical features tucked away. If there were no shame around sexuality, how would you stand? How would you engage, and be?
Healthy ‘sexuality is a full bodied activity, and can be used for dramatic healing. It lifts one out of the morass of compulsive, patriarchal fantasies and pornograhy. It clears the channels in the body. As Louise Hay found, an orgasm is often the best cure for a migraine. Congested energy means pain, and sex is predominantly a release.
It is interesting to note that that in ancient vedic teachings, the second chakra, Swadhisthana, is linked to sexuality and creativity. These each can flow from the same force. It is physically associated with the pelvic and sacrum, and affects the organs… Kidney, Reproductive system, Urinary bladder, Genitals. Many of our issues begin when the kidneys shut down, and the lymphatic system is hampered in its ability to rid the body of toxic wastes… is this in some way connected to sexual repression, one wonders?
Of course, sexual expression is not the only form. I wanted to bring it up first, because it can stretch out the bounds of the imagination, where we can sometimes lean into imagining full expression. have you ever felt fully expressed sexually? Let the body intelligence take over? Felt the full communion of the 3 body centers, the head, the heart, and the instinctual center?
We are one being, and these three centers are often acting, or speaking on their own. For instance, we can speak out of our head, at the expense of the heart, or lean into the heart, at the espense of the instinct. The fullness of expression occurs when these centers are in balance.
The balance occurs through a balanced way of standing and being. Align the 3 centers physically, and it becomes possible to align them metaphorically. If one is leading, it becomes obvious. If one is shrinking away, that suddenly surfaces. To think of these three centers as three hysical centers is advanteagous, because we have something tangible to work with.
The creative impetus has gotten me through many hard times, personally. Writing, painting, drawing. For me, freedom of expression was often hampered by the ego. Teh thing had to be good. I want to separate, here, art from expression. Something that is full expression may not be aeshetically pleaseing, per se, and it may be demolished by an art critic, however, it is real, and it is healing. this is why I often encourage engaging in something new, something that you have not done before, so that the mind chatter is less. If you're a composer on the piano, every time you touch the key, it is so fraught with history and emotion and thought. If you’ve played in the past, from your head, can you play from your instinct? How do the recesses of your soul sound? Can you let it be dissonant? Does it falter to a distinct harmony, or does it remain dissonant?
I advised creating the totem to yourself, because this is often healing, and telling. I did it once, and it was a black minotaur. And suddenly I remembered that I had seen that creature in dreams and visions, until he vanished in a black myst, defeated by some other primordial force, and stopped showing up. Was that a piece of myself? While an artist, I used to paint self portraits often, and it became easy. As soon as it was easy, I was caught. They were no longer representative of the moment, or of my deepest self. They were suddenly just convention; convenience. A colleague advised that I do one left handed, and it all began again. It was real again. I’d broken through the need to create something beautiful, and paradoxically, something beautiful was created, though in a different way than I had ever done in the past.
It is up to us to know how fully expressed we are. As you sit across from someone, particularly that one that triggers you so, are you shutting down? What would full expression look like? Sometimes this comes in the form of an inner movie? I’d throw water in their face. I’d dance away. I’d kiss them, or take their hand, or tell them how my heart aches, or how beautiful they are. What is real?
A caveat… sometimes, we’ve been so repressed, that the full expression first requires a clearing. For instance, you may explode in anger at someone, but that is not the anger toward them; it is anger at your father or whatever. The point is to align the expression with the moment, so that you or it is not arising out of the past. If you are angry at your brother, make sure that is cleared from the system, by punching a pillow, or by speaking to them.
I always advocate creating a clearing first, before engaging in intense interactions. Because then, the body centers are naturally more in alignment, and the residual past energy is less likely to creep in and affect the equation. Often times after I support clients in clearing somatically, they go out, wide eyed, luminous, and speak with their other, and much is released. Its the first time they’ve been expressed for a long time, fully.
It is up to us to know ourselves. When I ask, what is going on? The first answer is loaded with pretense, normally. Even if it seems sincere. Even if vulnerability is your core value, then that becomes the pretense. Usually, there is something else going on. I often find the conversation quivering around the actual, salient points.
These dark thoughts, they are not you. When they come in, watch them carefully. I often have clients name their mind chatter, something playful preferably, and then simply think them for sharing Thank you for sharing, Puff The Magic Dragon. Your deepest longings, and your deepest fears, those are all good, beause you are a good person, at the core. You are beautiful, and compassionate, and brave, and loving. These qualities simply get covered up by adopted personas and alien energetics. Let those go. Trust that what you are, what you want to do, what you want to say, is real, and arises from love.
People often attempt to bypass their rage, or their primal emotions, and this happens at a great cost. Instead, they carry their rage into every situation. Even making love is an act of rage, in that case. The only solution, as far as I can see, is to go through it. let the rage move through you. Again, soften the possession language. My friend used to attempt to transcend her rage by calling it holy. My rage is holy. It is not yours, I would counter. It is just rage. Let it move through you, like breeze through the grass blades.
We are often afraid of primal emotions. IN some ways, they’re the bridge to moving forward. Resisting them is resistance. Resistance is contraction, which eventually means stagnant energy. Practice living without acceptance. Find the emotion that you are afraid of, and go into it. Enter the wound via art, or language, or song.
It can be helpful to touch into the lace in your body where this emotion is anchored, and then express it. Moan. Rage. Sigh. Breathe deeply into it, and let that breath be like a searchlight into your soul, peering into the shadows. And then let out whatever is not you. Ahhhhh. Again. Ahhhh. Feel what emotion arises, if any, or what sensation. You can do this lying on your back, which is helpful. Some spots, you can only reach while sitting. I was using this massage tool recently, and doing this while I worked the neuro-lymphatic points in my upper spine, and there was the flutter of emotions, sadness, and then a cough was stirred loose. Find where you’re bound, and release that.
It can be healing to speak into the eyes of another, who play a role, temporarily. Now, you don’t want to wash anyone with your rage, but as an example, I once did it because i lost a dog to a former partner, and I always missed her. A little Chihuahua Izzy. I spoke into the eyes of one of my friends: I miss you Izzy, and I’m sorry I left you. I promised I’d protect you. You’ll always be special, hold a special place in my heart.
I encourage you now to make something creative, that is an expression of a sentiment around something that you’ve lost. A lost parent, a lost child, a lost landscape. Even if you still have that person in yoru life, perhaps a way of being was lost. the challenge is to do this completely free, as a ritual, that is not bound by artistic convention. “Genius is the return to childhood at will.” If you cannot get in touch with the emotion around a human, go to an animal; that childhood pet, possibly. For some reason, it is sometimes easier to access emotions around animals than people for some. I do this when I have a client really resisting emoting, and it has worked every time.
Because for our animals, we are able to express our unconditional love. We do not project so much onto them. We are free to express, without wondering how they might respond, or whether they might misunderstand, etc.
You can also engage in self portrait that expresses who you are. Use a mirror or do it out of the imagination. It doesn’t much matter. Close your eyes and feel into your inner vision. Find yourself.
the point is to be able to sit, without these backlogs of residual, unresolved emotional energy, and become a clear channel for the life force. Ideally, creativity is the flow of the moment, but it is also a safe way to ruminate and process. I once accessed some healing by drawing myself, in a pile, after I’d fallen down the stairs, as an infant. It was a preconscious memory, but when I thought about it, I often felt the scars (by my right eye, and my head, and my sinus). So I drew everything I knew about the event, and as I did, I was able to access the somatic memories. The pain. I cried some, and to cry for a preconscious memory… that is something. And the only way I’d been able to access that, at least on my own, was through this simple drawing, with a ballpoint pen, and a red pen for the blood. After that, I felt some sort of lightening around my mother, which was hard to describe, but I was more able to fully epress. I wonder if at some pre-conscoius memory, some level of trust was not there, in my own conception of the event.
That’s just an example of what is possible. Bringing light into the darkness.
Expression is an embodied process, whatever action you choose. To quote a Tai Chi adage, when one part moves, every part moves. When one part is still, every part is still. This means, if you catch yourself speaking with frozen arms, gesticulate. And if you catch your foot twitching, reroute that energy to something productive. As in the lay seed, continually find ways to dance, with parts of your body yu’ve never felt before. Move the spine in a thousand ways. Thrust the pelvis. Some of that aforementioned sexual energy can flow with this simple act. If you see that you're armoring, or posturing, or trying to prove something, work that into the evaluation, and try to let go of that. As Werner Erhard phrased it, get off of it. Be YOU.
I often think of this in terms of marketing. Marketing is giving people the evidence they need to discriminate on your behalf, to paraphrase Jay Abraham. If people are treating you a certain way, what evidence are you giving them? What are you presenting? A client recently mentioned that his employers were often triggered by him, and as he spoke, his chest was puffed out, and he looked like he was ready to prove himself, before he even spoke. I can assure you, this way of being is different with men and women, and toward the female and the male.
I often walk to the left (feminine) side of someone, and have them express something, and then I walk to the right (masculine side) and there is a completely different energy. usually, its so different its humorous… palpable.
After the president was elected, women would come into my office and just cry and rage against the machine. And I simply let them do that. That was the expression, and there was no other outlet for it.
Find your outlets for expression. They are sacred. If you cannot find one, make one. Find kindred spirits that hear and see you. They are sacred, too. Replace people who want you to be different, with people who love you as you are. Speak fully, as though your presence and your words are a gift, because they are. Remaining in touch as you do this, so the message comes form your deepest self. Consider what is yours, and what is theirs (it is almost all yours). As we love ourselves more, we express more out of love, and more more lovable. The expression is received in love.
I mentioned, the Bloom Manifesto, that ‘losing the voice’ metaphorically is a powerful childhood wound for many. And I wanted to speak a little more about reclaiming. This I do with clients physiologically. I ordinarily have them engage in an imaginary dialogue with someone, normally someone with whom there is some tension, or some unresolved issue. I do this to gauge how the body is being used in the expression, and to determine where, in the course of the dialogue the voice is ‘lost.’ This sometimes occurs as a shrinking, or a turning, or a grinding of the teeth. It sometimes occurs as over editing, to the point where the original intent is all but lost. This is the ordinary way of sharing.
One of the fundamental distinctions for the Expression seed to consider are the personality versus the essence. The personality is the learned behaviors / ie, society or acculturation in the langauge of the philosophers, and the essence is the natural inclinations, or ‘nature.’ We are a constellation of influences that are a synthesis of these two dynamics.
I’m going to briefly mention that 3 layers of sharing that are possible, so that you can see where you are now, and begin to frame your experiences in these ways. These numbers are merely conventions. Obviously, we can ebb and flow into one and the other, and the boundaries are fluid. Having the numerical designation seems to support clients in determining where they are. What level they have shared or are sharing from, and then adjust accordingly. As they say in NLP, ‘The quality of your communication can be measured by the results you’re getting.’ If your’e not getting the results you desire, shift the communication style.
This section is taken from my article, Sharing from the Personality versus Sharing from the Essence…
'Be efficient with things. Be effective with people.' Stephen Covey
The transactional model of communication occurs with the aim of efficiency in mind. A majority of the stories from the constellation remain unconscious. Sharing from a shallow layer of being consequently can only move a shallow layer of being in the other. If there is depth, it is incidental. The body is retaining its customary misalignments and kinks, impeding the flow of consciousness.
Transactional sharing is efficient, in that it takes little time, and there will be little emotional mess to 'clean up,' but it is the least effective, in terms of creating change or deepening intimacy. It is a clear and precise way of speaking that is often used in business encounters, where time is money.
This is entirely logical, and spoken from the head space.
In the example, let's say one of our closest friends has gotten into self destructive behaviors, and we've drifted apart over the past few years. You want to reach out, just to touch base, and rekindle the connection.
Example: "Hi friend. I’m sorry you are dealing with what you’re dealing with. I want to get on the same page, so we can make progress, and I can show support if you need any."
In the arena of connection and intimacy, it is severely lacking, because no context is developed, so the content makes no sense. It is not relatable, and not actionable.
This is transitioning from head-centered to heart-centered; from speaking through the armor of the personality, to the softness of the essence. There are fits and starts, as an individual inching toward authenticity. The essence is still hushed by the mind.
This is touching upon what is real for you in the moment, but it is drastically edited by the mind, in the hopes of not creating offense, and not changing the status quo. Perhaps there is fear about being perceived differently. There is more context included, which makes the request more relatable.
Example: We've been friends since we were 10. You're one of my closest friends. I feel like something is missing after not feeling connected to you these past few years. I know you're going through some things, and I wish that I could support. I really miss the bond we used to share, and I wanted to reach out to let you know that you mean a lot to me, and I am here for you.
This is moving in the direction of deepening intimacy.
REAL AND AUTHENTIC
What is real for you in the moment? Has it been fully understood and engaged? This is the question to ask during these interactions.
Key: determining what is real for you in the moment requires deep listening. Deep listening allows one to know the other, and the various pieces, well enough to lay out the context.
The context is set as fully as possible, so that each word takes on more and more weight. There is pro-fluence.
“By definition – and of aesthetic necessity – a story contains profluence, a requirement best satisfied by a sequence of causally related events, a sequence that can end in only one of two ways: in resolution … or in logical exhaustion” John Gardner.
Saying 'I love you', for instance, is different than saying...
'Ever since I first saw you, in the lamplight twenty years ago, I knew without a doubt that you were the one. We've been through so much, and every time we emerge from a challenge, I am more certain than ever... I love you.'
The body is aligned so that energy can flow. The head, heart, and gut centers are all engaged. The knees and belly are soft, speaking from the present, rather than bracing for a reaction.
Example: "We've been friends for as long as I can remember. I know we haven’t always been very loving toward each other in the past. Sometimes we'd be in competition; I always felt like I had to be better for some reason. I'm sorry for that. I picked this up from my father. So I just wanted to let you know that I'm here for you. More importantly, I just miss you. I miss the camaraderie, and the intimacy, and the connection. It feels good going through life with a kindred spirit. I feel sad when I wake up knowing that I'm not going to talk to you that day. You're the only one I've even been able to share with fully. I respect your gift of making people feel comfortable, and I'm honored to have been your friend for so long. I think I've been dissatisfied because I've been trying to relive the past. I know we can't do that, so I'm shifting to being enthusiastic about the future. I’m going to practice reaching out to you more, just to check in, and I hope you’ll do the same. There is no pressure. I love you, and I just want to thank you for being in my life."
This I refer to as the first layer. The first layer of the potential share, which I refer to as ‘transactional.’ Simply getting the points across, a focus on the personality, at the expense of the essence.
It takes courage to be fully YOU, thank you for your courage. It is a joy to witness. and that will lead us to the next seed.
Love and Expression.