By: Kathy Godfrey
Having decided to try out the whole “consider the lilies” kind of life, neither spinning nor toiling, I am practicing just taking whatever comes to me as a gift. And sometimes the “gift” looks like a screaming fury that has been doused with rocket fuel and set ablaze hurtling toward my face. Or it can be something so foreign that I hardly see it at all until some jangling effect changes everything, like the myth about native peoples who couldn’t see European ships on the horizon (look how that turned out).
One fine day, I received an email asking if I’d be interested in Craniosacral Therapy. After my initial “what the hell is that?” I recalled a desire that was being fulfilled in a surprising way. For many years, my big dream has been to travel, have amazing adventures, and write about them in a way that inspires soul connection between me, the place, and the readers—oneness.
Shortly before receiving the email, I’d suddenly realized that dream is happening right now. Like the chief and the Mayflower, I hadn’t recognized what was on the horizon until foreigners came ashore wearing funny shoes. As evidenced by my last few articles here, I am certainly having wild adventures, traveling infinite distances, and writing about all of it. What I didn’t expect is that nearly the whole process is internal. From the world’s perspective, I am still as a lily in the field.
When the unsolicited offer of Craniosacral Therapy (just CST from here on, the biodynamic school specifically) showed up in my inbox, it could have been a massage (which I had been longing for), or it could have been something completely foreign. Either way, the experience would be exactly what I asked for. Right? Having no idea what to expect, I arrived at the first therapist’s office still hoping for the pampering touch and stress-relief of a great massage. There was a table, a blanket, soothing music, dim lighting. Yes!
“You have only one job,” Dan Landis instructed as I got situated. “Breathe and relax.”
Sounded easy enough. I meditate. I do yoga. Piece of cake. I breathed. Tuned into my body. Felt the table making contact, providing support. He slipped one hand under my right knee and one hand onto my right shoulder. Beautiful acoustic guitar issued forth from the Bose. Very soon, my body felt deeply relaxed like a rest pose after a challenging yoga class. My mind forgot all about having one job and forged ahead with its usual office: analysis and evaluation.
Breathe and relax. Snort. How long before you screw that up? Oh! Already fucked up. I’m thinkingthinkingthinking, oh no. And cursing. If you were relaxed, you wouldn’t be cursing. Breathe. Just breathe. Maybe I shouldn’t have eaten that bagel. Breathe. I don’t feel anything. Just relax. What’s he doing? Wish I was getting a massage.
Imagine this went on for ninety minutes, and I’ll spare you the repetition. The therapist moved around the table following the lead of my body’s energy. He spent a good deal of time with my head, and no wonder, then moved to my sacrum. I began to feel little movements in my neck, back, sacrum. Subtle. My sinuses opened up, and space expanded behind my eyes. I felt completely relaxed, in complete submission to the process. This was abruptly interrupted by a sudden throbbing knot in my back.
My mind had something serious to latch onto. The more it hurt, the more I wondered why and what to do. Maybe if I moved, it would stop? What if that messed up the whole thing? What if we were just getting to the good part?
“Are we done?”
“Yes. How do you feel?”
“Like I’ve had a good nap,” I said while struggling to decide whether to tell him about the pain. “And it feels like something’s stuck.” Blabber mouth. Where did that come from?
He put one hand over and one hand under the spot I identified. His hands started to shake, hard. It hurt. That could not be good. I tried to just stick to my one job.
“Has anyone stabbed you in the back?”
What? Stabbed? Is he serious? I opened my mouth to say no and started to sob instead.
“More than one somebody,” was my crazy reply. What? Who? As he held the throbbing pain between his hands, a parade of people came to me. That’s who. Unbelievable. After all that forgiveness work I’d done? More sobbing, howling, heaving, twisting, convulsive involuntary movement. Then complete stillness. Silence. All gone. Just gone in one single instant.
As if all that weren’t enough, several of the people in the back-stabbing parade made contact with me in the days following my first CST session, some of whom I’d been estranged from for years, crowning the whole experience with downright-miraculous manifestations. I was ecstatic, exhausted, and anxious to see what would happen next. On the recommendation of a friend, I made an appointment with a different CST therapist for comparison.
When I walked into my first session with Ruth Hill, my expectations were pretty neutral. How powerful could this be? Lots of healing had taken place; space had opened up. Not much left to do, I imagined. Don’t laugh. It’s rude.
Ruth met me at the door and escorted me upstairs to her therapy space carrying a glass of water for each of us. We sat down in chairs facing one another and chatted about her CST history and training, a little philosophy, and our mutual friend. The conversation was easy, and energy started to shift around even before it was over. I became very aware of my body, the space in between us, and her energy as she talked. Interesting.
Then I got onto the table and my entire world changed. Again.
Ruth started at my feet holding one heel in each hand. Seconds after contact, a surge of electricity shot up each leg, converged at my torso, divided again to fill my arms and hands, joined again at my heart and filled my head with simmering energy. While this was the most intense experience I’d had, the feeling of inner power was familiar to me, so I didn’t freak out. Yet. I breathed, relaxed, and the energy continued to simmer.
“You are ready,” she said quietly. “Do you want to know if I am told anything for you?”
She held my heels. The intensity of the electricity grew like a dimmer switch slowly turning to increase my light. My body was the purest crystal chandelier refracting and reflecting the growing luminosity within. Moments came and went when I felt that one more particle of light would shatter the illusion that I was solid matter. My flimsy body-boundaries would surely let go, spilling my light into all light.
My face started to come alive with the light. Slowly at first, just a tingle like a nerve deprived of blood for a minute, then restored. The tingle spread and intensified until my entire face began to ripple with light. The feeling was not on my skin but a ways beneath the surface; some depth between skin and skull danced with new life like the dry bones called up by Ezekial, “I will cause breath to enter you that you may come to life!”
I asked Ruth if she could see my face moving. She could not. Unbelievable! At about this same moment, a sheet of the energy fanned out from my chest and repeatedly undulated through my body and legs with white-hot intensity, and I got scared. Before my mind could do a thing with that fear, Ruth was at my elbow though I could still feel her hands on my heels.
“Your heart has broken open,” she said. I started to cry.
She placed one hand just above and one just below my right elbow, and another surge reenergized the fear that all of this could go too far. I said nothing but Ruth moved one hand onto my chest and said, “Yes. It is safe.” I breathed and let go of the urge to shut it all down. She continued at my elbow which suddenly felt as if the joint were cushioned by vast space between bones. This falling part into spaciousness spread into other joints, and I wondered how I could ever feel heavy or tight. I was mostly space. Of course.
“Your hands. Joined with your heart now. Writing is your heart,” she said.
I cried again as a beautiful golden cord of light spooled out from my heart to my hands. The cord wound its way back through my heart and into my head, filling my mind with space, opening a new connection to my heart and body. All the while the energy maintained a steady hum that had spread from the inner flow into every cell, every particle of the body that appeared as me. I’d known in my mind for years the physics of our perceived reality, more space than matter. That moment I felt my body as more space than matter. I felt it as a collection of particles attracted by the energy that I am.
At some point, Ruth had moved her hands to have one under and one over my heart chakra. The energy was settling into a pleasant tingle again. As she moved her hand from under my back, a whoosh of cool air replaced the spot where my back was touching the table—the feeling of mint on my tongue when I inhale, only far more intense. My breath caught in my throat.
“What was that?”
“Air between your particles. Always there. You just felt it.” My mind could not even question.
Back to my original question “What the hell is it?” Like any spiritual experience, words can convey the “what” but are nearly useless in communicating the “how” or “why” of the deepest encounters. Beyond the description of my experience of Craniosacral Therapy, I can only share some effects that I am still noticing: I am always aware of my inner Energy, a gentle hum that runs from head to toe and fingertips. For the first time in my life, I am not tortured by perpetual longing for some nameless thing. Many questions about my relationship to the world and god have settled into peaceful knowing. Indeed, my journal is filled with ecstatic revelations about One-ness and Home and the Nature of things.
Ruth Hill believes that CST is a way of tuning ourselves to our inner divine, returning to our origin where all possibilities exist and all is well. That seems right to me, and means that my lifelong prayer of feeling “the kingdom” within has been answered. CST came to me, a lily of the field, in perfect timing and expanded my perspective of the Infinite by reuniting me with I Am. Good thing it wasn’t a massage.
Contact Ruth Hill at www.ruthwhill.com or Dan Landis at www.wnccraniosacral.com
Kathy Godfrey is a traveling writer currently reporting from Inner Space. Questions or comments about the author’s experience? Email: email@example.com