By Melinda Glenister
I have a confession to make… I have been experiencing amnesia.
Not the kind where you forget appointments or can’t remember where you put your keys.. (although I did lose my car in a car park recently.) The kind of amnesia that happens when you fall into a fracture between worlds. Trapped somewhere between the old and the new, without a compass, unable to remember how to get out, or where you were going before you forgot, or even how you began to solve the problem the last time. The kind where you do remember that you’ve been here before, in this state of amnesia, and you’ve found your way out before, maybe countless times- but you cannot remember how you did that.. What did you do? Where did you look? What was the first step?
That is the kind of amnesia I’ve been in this week.
The ironic thing is- the last thing I remember before I fell into this amnesia- was that I was talking about amnesia. The matrix of our beliefs that contain us become camouflaged and disappear from view if we do not pay close attention- thus inducing an amnesiac state. Philip Shepherd in his incredible book 'New Self New World' describes this state and spending years leaving written notes and post-it notes everywhere lest he would succumb to amnesia and forget who he truly was.
So I feel in a small way like Jill Bolte-Taylor- the neuroscientist who experienced a stroke as a brain researcher and could describe the process afterwards with fascinating insight. I am someone who studies these types of phenomena and how they manifest in the body and our self-image, and so some part of myself was able to observe the whole episode. I knew that I had forgotten something, I just couldn’t remember what I had forgotten. I had forgotten how to remember how to get myself out of that state.
You could call it the corridor between the eclipses, you could call it the split of dimensions or timelines. You could simply call it the no-mans land when you leave something of the old behind but haven't yet cemented yourself in something new. Everyone has had this experience while learning something new of at some point completely forgetting everything, even what you were trying to remember.
Lost in this place I found my way to some familiar guides (the youtube variety.. not beings who visited) who I had found helpful along the way in the past, and just listened. Sure enough some words of wisdom resonated enough to begin to reveal something of what I had lost, I began to know where to look again for the way out.
And I realised something very important about these experiences.. Everybody has them. Everyone experiences amnesia to some degree. And we all know that when you are in that state you can't remember any more how to get out of them!
We all have such an overload of information and those that know my work know that I am vocal against the guru culture. We are our own guides. What then if you cannot remember how to access your own wisdom? What do you do if you fall into a crack?
And this is where signposts are needed. Where signals, articles, videos can maybe nudge us enough to get back on track. It is only a nudge that we need- the re-discovery should still be our own - it is not for someone else to tell you what you forgot or what you should remember.
In this it is the same process as a feldenkrais lesson. Even during one lesson someone may repeatedly “forget” to let the holding or protective patterns go. Sometimes it is frustrating and confusing when you are the one lying on the table.. But I frequently find myself reassuring clients not to worry- every time you forget it gives you another chance to remember, and each time the remembering will be a little deeper, and a little more refined. It is the same process in these bigger states of amnesia. Each time it's an opportunity to remember.. to come out of it with some bigger degree of perspective, compassion, or integration.
Why did I feel the need to write this blog? Because I know that blogs like this turn up for certain people at the moment they need them, and for whomever might also be experiencing amnesia now to know that you are not the only one! It happens to everyone, it’s not a big drama- everyone needs a nudge sometimes. But take it as a nudge and that’s all.. come back to yourself and trust your own body wisdom to get you to a clearer space again.
Maybe you can begin to find your direction again if you first begin to find your centre.. Connect with your body- there you will find your compass. The emotions become clearer, the head becomes quieter, and the entangled mess starts to dissolve if you just lie down and connect the parts of yourself again, with patience and without judgement.
When things get totally thrown in the air and is disoriented you know- because you remember somehow- that when it all eventually comes back together again, it all has a new way of relating to each other or a new more refined organisation and perspective. The chaos is needed in order for things to be re-ordered.
When we are in the chaos it can be very hard to remember which way is up..
Try a feldenkrais lesson- one of my audio lessons is a good place to start, then see if the next step starts to get a little clearer. See if you start to remember.