This last Thursday I imposed upon my father to watch my three children (two of them screaming as I left) to ride the Frontrunner to SLC with DreamPacker. Why? Because I with near desperation wanted something.
I wanted to see, hear and be fixed by Kirk Duncan.
For those who don't know Kirk, he is the founder of the The 3 Key Elements. Dreampacker lent me a bunch of his CD's about a year ago and I listened to five of the fifteen on and off since Brogurt was born. He said good things. I felt good things when I listened. I recognized what he said as truth and how he presented it as.... basically as an injection of truth. Meaning I didn't have to sift much to find the message. He is point blank. I like that.
In my recent turnaround (from foolish to wise), my heart has been awakened to it's closed off state. And it feels very much like it sounds. Imagine waking from a fitful sleep to find yourself wound up tightly - almost suffocating - in the blanket you had chosen to ensure your warmth, saftey and comfort. What was once the obvious choice for your survival is now a different and immediate danger to your very life.
Scary doesn't really do it justice. I have spent more than three days in the last week sobbing so forcefully that I had to get a chiropractic adjustment to correct the strain on my neck and shoulders.
Long story short: I was in pain. And I felt led to Kirk's Heart of Gold thing in SLC. The closer I got to SLC, I noticed physical pain increasing like a dramatic pressure change. I even mentioned how similar it felt to the times we went up or down 2,500 ft in 5 minutes at Lake Tahoe. My neck hurt, all my muscles ached, I felt like I couldn't stretch enough. I kept popping my knuckles and my neck. The pressure! I was being crushed....
And never once did I consider turning back home. The physical pain had nothing on the aching in my heart.
Let me be clear: I fully intended to be "fixed." To have Kirk look down in the crowd, see me and say, "Holy cow, woman, let's get you up here cause I can see you got a whole lotta something nasty happening inside!" I was ready to explore, discover and heal myself in front of I didn't care how many people. They could learn from my stupid baggage! I was ready to be their horribly damaged instrument for learning. The cadaver for medical science, if you will. I was ready for that. I was open to it. I was begging for it.
But that's not what happened. The place was packed. Easily over 300 people in this huge room. There was a center and two side sections. I sat in the middle of the side section with my back up against this huge white cement pole. I felt safe there and I hoped I would be seen there.
First a woman shared her experience reading her son's body language and using that insight to "save him 30 years of therapy in that very moment!" She called herself a Ninja. Everyone around me seemed to get the reference and chuckled knowingly. I felt more alone and cut off. But that's okay. As soon as Kirk came out, he'd see me because I needed to be seen.
Kirk did come out, walking up to the stage with humble confidence. He began his....stuff....not a lecture, not really a seminar. He started sharing stuff. He talked about a goldfish named Larry. He reminded us that he was "unplugged" and "after hours." This was meant to be a spiritual discussion. Well that worked for me, because I was spiritually messed up and my messed up spirit was just screaming to be fixed. Bring it on.
Then he talked about Heaven, Earth and Creation vs. Creating. It was during this part that it seemed to me (because it's all about me) that Kirk looked over at me and .... well.... and I'm pretty positive his spirit understood my spirit. I felt so sure that it happened that I was able to relax a little and start taking notes. Surely now that his spirit knew how much pain I was in, things were about to get better. He was gonna fix me.
He taught us about chains and flaxen cords. How they're real. I think everyone should listen to the CD's for yourself. I don't want to over-share. So what you have here is what I learned, not necessarily what he said:
* Creating is much more important than the creation.
* My building material is everything on earth or that which makes up earth/reality.
* I will not always be able to jive my creation with what I planned in my head. And that's okay. Because - see point 1 above.
* Evil spirits/Satan want to stop me from creating.
* Negative thoughts/beliefs are literal chains and ropes that evil spirits use to keep me from creating.
* When I choose to dwell on/in negativity I am literally giving them permission to use me as a puppet.
* Truth cuts the cords. (like a sword)
* Identifying the thought/belief/spirit will remove their influence, but not the cord itself until I choose to shed it.
* I can take them off.
* I can have a different number of cords/chains for different areas of my life. (for soccer, I might only have "not fast enough," "too tired," "sore," "embarrassed," - a few flaxen cords that holds me back or wear me out after a half hour of play. But for writing I might have layers of chains like "tired," "no time," "no focus," - dozens of others - and still carry a freaking millstone of "but what do I have to write about" that crushes my heart, shoulders and neck.)
* This tactic destroys me starting mentally, then emotionally, then physically and finally spiritually. If they came at me spiritually straight off, as they have in the past, I would easily spot them. But come at me mentally, where for years I've been told "Well, we're human, everyone thinks like that sometimes; cut yourself a break," and I blame myself. Well, that was NON helpful in the long run, I'll tell you what.
* and MORE!
As he was going on, and as I was taking notes, he brought people up to help him demonstrate a few things. I didn't get the chance to go up, but knew that my moment was coming. Because he had seen me. Even a few times since then, he looked back to the crying woman in the green sweater and I knew he knew that I was in need of help. He was going to fix me.
Then came questions.
And everyone asked the exact same question, but differently. "How can I help others?"
And inside I'm thinking, "To hell with others, how do I help ME??!!" As I'm listening to the answer, which was the same for each question, because each question was the same, a string of thoughts began to pace in my mind. "He has to tell me. He has to fix me. I need an answer. How do I fix me when I'm so overwhelmed?" I wondered if it had to be a spiritual truth to cut the cords/remove the chains. Could it be anything? What if I had a number that kept changing? I felt so overwhelmed. Over and over. I raised my hand, I tried to get his attention.... and my emotions threatened to overwhelm me.
He looked over and saw me. I felt that jolt of recognition again and thought, "This is it!" but instead he said he was going to cut off questions because he had two more things to had to share before we left. I wanted to scream! How could anything else be as helpful as everyone getting to SEE someone as tied up as I was get completely freed before their very eyes?! The injustice and disappointment began to overwhelm my mind, my voice, my hands.
He stood up on stage. He looked over at me again and began to draw two cups with people inside. As experiences in a day fill up, sometimes we see that someone else's cup still has some room in it and we go dump on them so we can breathe again. But then that person is drowning because we dumped on them. Then he said, "It is never okay to dump on another person. If you feel -" and he wrote the word on the board in huge letters, "OVERWHELMED, then go unload on a tree."
Then he drew a big cup with a big person and a little cup with a litte person - a child - inside. He showed us how even if we have only a little to dump, that little can drown a child because their cup is so much smaller than ours. A woman behind me joined the chorus of "awwww"s with a "who would ever do that to a child?"
I wanted to turn around and tearfully scream, "What the hell do you know, lady?!" That reaction brought tears fresh to my eyes. I wanted to defend my tendency to dump on my children?! I looked at that little stick figure drowning in a cup full of a parent's red emotions and saw Rivuleta's face. I saw Lemur's big eyes wet with surprise and emotion that he didn't know how to deal with.
And I was suddenly so very sorry. I always thought it was my right to share my feelings. But it's not. Feelings - like money - are a tool of trade, for the benefit of all. And if the person I want to trade with doesn't like what I am selling, I have no right to force it on them.
Woah! WAIT! It hit me. He wrote my word on the board. The word I was screaming inside. He heard it. He addressed it.
Uh.... But why, was he teaching THIS instead of what I wanted to learn? Why didn't he just take me up there and fix me?!
He taught some more. By the end, we were to shout "Freedom." I tried.... but very little in way of voice or conviction came out.
And then it was over. Come and gone so fast.
Dreampacker and I walked back to Frontrunner. By now I was nauseated, dizzy, the headache I had been fighting all along had blossomed into a migraine, and by the time we were halfway home I felt like I was collapsing in on myself, physically. Everything hurt.
By 2 am I was convinced I had the flu, with a fever, shakes and all the aforementioned yuckiness.
And then I had three dreams. In the first, Kirk taught me how to deal with Lemur. In the second, he taught me how to deal with Rivulet. And in the third, I was re-taught the entire Heart of Gold; just me and six other people. I woke up confused that I could remember that I had the dreams, but not the specifics of what each contained. I had only the confidence that I would know it when it was time to know it.... I know that sounds weird. Oh - and I was fine. Not sick, just a little residual head and muscle ache that went away as the day went on.
On the first day I stood in my bathroom and tried something. I said to myself, "2+2=4. Anything less true than that: I command you to leave." It felt like a big fur coat slipped off my shoulders. I literally stood up straighter and felt substantially lighter. My brain clicked along like the brain I remember from two years ago...
In the afternoon, after a crazy productive day, I gave each returning child complete undivided attention and used tactics I am positive I was taught in my sleep, because I don't remember learning them before. My children responded amazingly. Rivulet and I communicated, and I taught her about cords and the spirits who pull the strings we give them. I helped Lemur with his homework without fuss and he said with surprise, "Wow, you're really listening..."
On the second day Rivulet wanted a dollar. So I gave her the easiest job I could find that would also be worth more than a dollar to me. She starts on it, and I begin work in the yard with help from Brogito. She comes down the stairs, "Mom, is this enough?"
She has done 25% of the job. "Nope. Keep going."
She returns a few minutes later, "How about now?"
I look up and see no change at all, "Nope. Keep going."
She sits on the front steps in a heap and begins to wail, "I can't do it! It's too hard! You gave me the hardest job! It's not fair! I can't do it!"
I comedically yell, "FLAXEN CORDS!" run to her and comedically begin to remove them from her arms, feet and neck.
She looks up at me with blatant confusion and a hint of "mom has lost it" in her eyes. "What are you doing?" she asks.
"Making it easier for you to finish your job. Doesn't it feel better not to have all those negative chains weighing you down?" I nod my head as she continues to stare at me, then go back to my work.
She remains on the stairs, her eyes clear......then she darkens again, "But I can't do it. It's too hard. I'm not strong. I'm not good at things."
I repeat the previous odd behavior. She giggles this time, but then says, "Mom, I really can't. I can't do anything. I'm not strong."
And I say, "Who says you're not strong?"
She looks away. "Everyone."
"Oh no, River-bottom. Not Dad. Not Mom. Not Lemur or Brogito or...I could list two dozen people who would never say that. Jesus would never say that." I softly take her hands in my own. Then I list for her all the hard things she has ever done. And they are many and awesome. Then I ask her again, "Who says you can't? Jesus or Satan?"
"So who are you going to listen to? Jesus who says you can because you are strong, or Satan who says you can't because he doesn't want you to know you're strong?"
"I don't know!" she wails.
I can feel it's time to step back. So I pat her on the head and say, "You think about it."
I go back to my work and hear the door slam. Great. She's given up. Well, I guess that's it: Kirk is a butt and all he's said is a load of garbage. But then....
Then I hear the door slam again....River comes down the stairs and in 15 minutes she finishes the job. No more whining, moaning, or doubts.
And she didn't complain once the rest of the day. Not once.
Sunday.... I'm talking to a friend who is using jerky movements as she talks about a bad situation. I didn't feel it was appropriate to yell "FLAXEN CORDS!" and attack her, but I did take her by the hand and gently remove them. Then I took her other hand and did it again, never breaking eye contact with her. She didn't even ask what I was doing.... But soon thereafter she sighed and changed the subject and was smiling and laughing not 5 minutes later.
This morning Lemur wakes up grumpy and disobedient. I ask him what the problem is. He looks down and I wait. He looks up and sees me still waiting for his answer and he began to cry, putting his head on my chest. I removed a cord from his neck as we sat there. Then he looked up at me, sighed and finished getting ready for school.
Rivulet didn't want me to comb her hair. She fell apart in the bathroom and I tried to talk her out of it. I did the "FLAXEN CORDS!" on her, but she resisted. Nothing seemed to work. Then I asked her for a hug. And then I removed one from her neck and she purred. Then I started removing them from/massaging her hands as we talked about something else. But she caught on and started laughing, "What are you doing, Mom?"
"Nothing....what are you doing?"
"You're making me lighter again so I can laugh, huh?"
"Maybe..." And then she got ready for school. No further fuss or bother.
In the end I was right: I was led to Heart of Gold. Kirk did look into my eyes and recognize the pain there. Kirk could help. But I was also wrong. I didn't need him to free me. I could do it. I could do it with the Savior. And I needed to know how to help others because my children are getting dumped on and they are being tied. And if any woman has ever been a warrior, it is me. I free myself, and I give my kids breathing room until they are old enough to understand what they have to do for themselves.
I feel good about that. Overwhelmed is just one of a hundred or more flaxen cords, chains or strings I give to an evil spirit to keep me from creating. Well not any more pal.
I would feel it a disservice to this experience to close it with a conclusion. Because this learning is not yet over, all the applications are not yet found, and my journey is no where near complete.