At a meeting of my “Spirit Girls” a few weeks ago, one of the members told us about an interview she’d seen with Oprah and Adyashanti. He’s the author of the book “Falling Into Grace” and spiritual teacher. He had an interesting exercise to help deal with emotional energy that gets in your life from a relationship, past or present. This can be anger, a grievance we have not let go of an old resentment or a new one. It can be grief. But it has to be dealt with. Remember that there are no bad emotions, only bad ways of acting on them. We know that those feelings you bury don’t die, but will fester and rot and make you sick. We can deal with them in a productive way, and take back the power that they are trying to take from us.
Adyashanti suggests we sit down in a chair, and pull another chair up to us, so we are knee to knee. Focus on the empty chair, with a clear mind and see who shows up energetically, and have a conversation with them. I don’t think that it necessarily needs to be someone who has passed from this life. I think it can be someone from our past, but who is still alive, but with whom we have not resolved relationship issues we had with them.
I decided that I would try doing this exercise and then writing about the experience because it seemed like it might be very interesting. I mentioned this at our last writers group meeting. Then….weeks passed, life happens, I totally forgot about it. Now, my writers group is meeting in a couple days, and I haven’t really written anything to share, much less done this assignment I gave myself.
Then, this morning, I went to a guided group meditation. One of my good friends has been suggesting this meditation, led by a friend of ours, for some time now. Since I was home this morning, and not up at Dan’s, I decided to give it a shot. I always enjoy group meditations anyway, because the energy is so different from doing it by yourself.
During that meditation we were guided through a path in the woods to a cabin. Once we got to the cabin, he guided us to sit down in a chair in the cabin, and see if anyone comes to sit in another chair. He said, “Maybe you want to have a talk.” Which reminded me, was meant to remind me, I think, that I hadn’t done the assignment. I vowed to begin it as soon as I got home, which I did (after I changed the sheets on my bed, lol.)
During the meditation, as I looked at the chair, I realized no one was coming forward to sit there. But then, I felt a few people’s presence, kind of wanting to take up the chair for a moment. I do believe that in that state, people who pop into your head are people whose spirits want to communicate with you in some way. I also have had a bit of experience at this with a medium/psychic and also in meditations and a past life regression. My experience has always been a non-verbal communication from whoever shows up. I might talk (imagine that!) but the other spirit rarely does, but somehow the communication is clear in my head.
The first was my dad. I wanted him to sit down, and he did. The conversation that came was me, thanking him, expressing gratitude, for all he did for me in his life. He died at 67, and so it seems to me to have been way too short a life. I felt so grateful I almost cried, grateful that I had a father who, although he was a quiet man and found expressing himself to be uncomfortable, always made sure I knew he loved me. He set a good example of how a man should take care of their family. Working hard at work, working hard in our house at night and on the weekends, taking me to baseball games, and fishing, and driving the whole family over to an island in the Mississippi River on weekends in the summer for picnics and water-skiing. I realized much later in my life how Norman Rockwellian my childhood was. This morning, as he sat in front of me, I just told him. He did not speak, he just glowed, literally. He smiled at me in a way that told me he was happy that I got it. Happy for me, that I have been able to glean wisdom and joy from what I thought for years was just an average childhood.
Then my mom came forward. She did not stay long, but she has not been gone long (about 3 years.) She and I left nothing unsaid between us, there was no unfinished business that we needed to resolve. I think she just came to say hi and let me know she is still around, still watching over me.
The last person to take to the chair was my niece Aster, who died 15 years ago in a car accident at the age of 24. She and I had a close relationship, even though we saw each other rarely. But a few incidents in my life before and after she died have convinced me that we were and are connected in a very deep way. She was beautiful, smart (valedictorian of her class), full of life, and one of the funniest people I’ve had the pleasure to know. Her life, and our relationship, is another story for another day, but I will say that I believe she is a literal angel in my life now. She came in with her silly sense of humor, putting two fingers behind both my parents heads like rabbit ears. She was bouncy, she was glowing, and loving just kind of impishly dancing around, taking in the cabin, and me and the sights. She sat in the chair for a moment, she was ethereal, and then she just danced away. Again, just saying hi, I’m still around.
Then, the meditation was over. We were guided back to the present moment (even though I was complaining when he brought us out, I wasn’t ready to come back yet.) But I had a smile on my face, and felt very peaceful. My friend Pat, who had suggested I come to the group, had told me before that the energy in this venue was very special, and for me, she was right. I felt that the veil between the spiritual and physical worlds was thin there, and that spirits moved in there easily. I wondered if it was the massive strong wood, which was once alive, combined with the big windows letting in tons of Florida sunshine. I realized in the next hour though, that while the wood and the sunlight add to it, it is the group that creates the basis of the energy. It makes such a difference to have a number of people who are taking the same path, but imbuing it with their own experiences.
The exercise of filling the empty chair was an interesting, fulfilling, peaceful experience which I will do again when I feel the need. I think it’s a wonderful way to resolve feelings and emotions that we just don’t know what to do with. It’s so important to honor our emotions, and allow ourselves to feel what we feel. This exercise is a productive, yet personal way to deal with those things that we might otherwise try to bury, only to have them show back up at time that might not be of our choosing.
As ever, love and light to all.