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|by KD Farris, Ph.D. |
Remembering What We Already Know
This month, I’d like to open with an excerpt from my book, MESHE, HESHE, MISON & ORBIT: What My Grandmother Taught Me About the Universe.
Grandmother used to tell me there was a life for me that my deepest senses knew about. She said her joy was to make sure I always remembered. We played a game with colored pens and drawing pads, making large Flowers with endlessly unfolding Petals into which we wrote and drew all the things I loved—and loved to do. As my MESHE grew, so did the number of Petals on my MESHE Chart. Grandmother said her grandmother played it with her until the day she died.
I wrote into my first Chart when I was only four years old: my pink dress; the doggie I carried with me everywhere I went; my Daddy; my Uncle Fred; my church dresses; my white patent leather shoes with the black bow; my rag doll, Sylvia; being tickled; doing errands in the car with my mother; playing with Grandmother; bubble baths; and finally, nap time and milk and cookies with Mrs. Drake. That was my first MESHE Chart. I was so proud of it that when I made my second Chart, the first Petal I drew in said, "My First MESHE Chart."
Grandmother always had the widest eyes for me. I understood her simple ways. She passed them on to me like she was still a child herself. They kept me company in my solitary world. From a very young age, Grandmother fostered my appreciation for the mundane by teaching me to be interested in everything I was doing and to behave in a grateful manner for all that came my way. I learned to be sad when I felt sad, joyful when I felt happy, and disappointed if I felt let down. With Grandmother in my corner, there was no reason to hide what I was feeling, and when I allowed myself to feel things as they came to me, there was no need to feel them for very long.
"There is this place that is me," she would say, pressing a closed hand gently against her lower belly. "Everything I am comes from here. I have an obligation to myself and the world around me to come from that place at all times."
"Even when you brush your teeth?" I’d ask at the age of five.
"Oh, especially when I brush my teeth," she’d answer.
"Even when you ride your bike?" I’d say at the age of seven.
"Oh especially when I ride my bike," she’d say.
"Even when you have to do your homework?" I challenged at the age of nine.
"Oh, even then!"
And when I learned that being in MESHE meant giving my homework the same love and attention as I gave the poetry I wrote for Grandmother, I understood the difference in myself when I was in MESHE, and how different the world was that I created from that place.
* * * * * * *
We have a tendency to forget that our lives are known from the deepest part of ourselves. We are born with the hardware of inner knowledge, and still, for most of us, our adulthood is an endless process of forgetting, remembering and forgetting again, what we already know.
The precursor to my moment of epiphany - the moment when MESHE, HESHE, MISON & ORBIT first came into being in my mind - was a period of time I spent with relatives in Florida, nearly twenty years ago. I had come to a spiritual crisis and did not know the way out. My body’s wisdom took over and led me across the great abyss by slowing me down to such an extent that I could not move without becoming very sick. A mystery fever arose in my physical body and I had to spend months resting. I left my life in New York City and moved to what was, at that time, a retirement community in South Florida.
With nothing to do but sit and think, I learned quickly to quiet the mind - lest I would go stark raving mad! In the process of learning to silence my thoughts, I became aware of a whole language that lay beneath the surface of my thinking.
Clearing away the debris that floated atop the ocean of my mind, I found a wealth of knowledge that spoke of wisdom and truth. In time, this wisdom could not be denied and I began to write down the flow of insightful information. Soon, I realized that the tablet of my inner-life was endless, and I would never be able to record everything it said. But more importantly, I discovered that I would not have to, if I could know and trust the power of its endless flow.
I knew that eventually, when my health returned, that I would have to resume my normal life. But I was going to have to bring back something to connect me to this knowledge - something brief and succinct. In the last few weeks at my healing haven, I understood what I would have to do to maintain a connection with my inner wisdom. I was going to have to remember that I had an inner wisdom! So I took a sticky pad and wrote the word REMEMBER upon several of its pages, and when I moved back into my regular life, I placed the notes all around me. One in the car, one by my clock, one in the bathroom, one in the silverware drawer, and so on.
Remember that there is a life for you that your deepest senses know about, and make it your job to always remember.
* * * * * * *
Children today are often lured away from their deepest senses. It is a complex task, to teach on the one hand, manners and discipline, and on the other hand, inner knowing and intuition. My job is to teach them about the life their deepest senses know about. And I do this by teaching them how to make MESHE Charts.
Over the summer there was a young man, who, in the third session of a four week course, began to say to me over and over again, "So, what you are saying is, I have to be myself...." For a thirteen year old boy, living in these difficult and troubled times, with the intense environment that school can be, and the immense pressures to look, act and behave like all of his peers.... To hear him say something so simple - I just knew his life was changing.
This fall, I have a young student who has confessed to me that life hasn’t worked out for him the way he thought it would, and that everything he has tried to do has been a great disappointment. The after-school activities are too expensive. The subjects he once had great interest in are now not so mysterious, since he has been studying them the last several years. And he has come to the conclusion, barely into his teens, that life isn’t so great. In light of his views on life, we agreed at the onset of class that if he did not feel he wanted to participate, he would not have to attend the full six weeks. His life experience had already taught him that there would be nothing in the future but limitations and disappointments. I decided at that same time, rather than to make him my personal project, I would allow the MESHE process - my probing questions and his drawing responses onto his Chart - probing and drawing - to carry him to his inner wisdom, thereby allowing some part of his being and spirit to remember.
Met first with resistance, and then with apathy, I persisted with the simple questions of asking what his dreams were, what his plans were, what his wishes, hopes and goals were for his life. What he liked, what he loved, what he remembered of himself as a younger boy. And slowly he began to color, sticker and draw his responses onto the MESHE Petals, Circles and Squares of his Chart.
When his mother came to pick him up at the end of class that first day and asked, "So, how was it?" he replied with the most show of emotion that I had seen him display all day. He said simply, "It was good!" I was surprised, and overjoyed. I can still feel the small smile coming over my face - knowing that the process had begun to do its magic, and realizing too, that I had no control over how far it could or would take this young man, at this time. Knowing that some part of his wisdom had surfaced, and that he would be back, was good enough for me.
* * * * * * *
MESHE work is not only for us as adults, but the children we parent and mentor. Engaging a process that can renew our spirit, while ensuring the development of our child’s spirit, is not such a bad way to spend an afternoon!
Teach your child, and live your days nourishing that place that your deepest senses knows about. See how different the world is that you create from that place, when you come from that place at all times. Learn to be sad when you feel sad, instead of running away from it. Learn to be joyful when you feel happy, without curbing it. And if life lets you down, fall apart completely so that you can get put back together again later.
What alarmed me most about this boy who had been so disappointed in life, wasn’t his disappointment, but his feeling that he had to protect himself from being let down. It is the protection that has him keeping to himself and not wanting to feel joy for new things. Hopefully we slipped in enough feelings of creativity in one class to bring back some measurement of hope that he can build on. And you can bet that I will be watchful of him, praying and hoping that he will continue to return for little doses of spark and creativity - little bursts of healing light, those burning rays that sometimes must be shone upon us, in order that we may be freed from our fears.
We have a community that is larger than our families and schools and even our country. But what will connect us all together is the part of us that our deepest senses knows about - and our job is to make sure that we always remember.
© Copyright 2001 KD Farris, Ph.D..
Read KD's Past Columns:
September 2001 - "Be Led By What You Are Trying to Avoid"
August 2001 - "Draw Your Way to Clarity, Health & Balance"
June 2001 - "Tending to the Negative Mind"
May 2001 - "Gentle Conscious Living"
April 2001 - "MISON and The Moment"
March 2001 - "The MESHE Concept - A Path to Soulful Living"
KD Farris, Ph.D. is a successful counselor, healer, and bodyworker. For more than twenty years she has taught
extensive workshops based on MESHE, HESHE, MISON & ORBIT as well as many other self-discovery topics.
KD began developing her integrated bodywork and counseling techniques in 1983 under the tutelage of many prominent doctors and healers throughout the United States.
Her education into the spiritual and physical aspects of the human experience served as the foundation for her private practice and the development of a new philosophy. She combined her techniques into four guiding principles, which she shares in her book, MESHE, HESHE,
MISON & ORBIT: What My Grandmother Taught Me About the Universe. She teaches a companion workshop series, where she creates an interactive environment demonstrating the material from her book with tangible, life altering effects. In these workshops, individuals discover a
deepening of their relationship to self, others, and life itself.
Through individual counseling and group workshops, she has taught her results-oriented programs to many different types of people including those confined to mental institutions, substance and food abusers, and generally, people in life transitions, struggling with intimate
relationships, or who lack direction in their lives. Visit www.kdfarris.com.
KD is currently touring a new body of work, Talking About People in Transition, Also Known As
Liminal Space. She will be writing about liminality and its relevance to day-to-day living in upcoming issues of Soulful Living. For more information on this new and exciting topic, or to learn about more her private practice, workshops and lectures, visit
Contact KD at: info@MESHE.com