The gift of great mentors
Of course Life is the mentor. It guides us in ways we do not understand at the time. Opportunities are created for us to encounter the fear that restricts us from a freedom of discovery. Our embodiment of this Intelligence carries the quality of Something that knows. If left alone It knows. And It self-organizes, changing our energy profile & signature. Such energy encounters were especially prevalent where the following mentors imbued me with the potential for disengagement from repetition & circular thinking. They formed part of my release of the kind of self-replicating hell we are so good at.
Mr Kallie Becker my Afrikaans High School teacher who during exam times presented subject matter with my writing style in mind;
Mrs Elize Grobler inspired me as a Honours student to develop my own integration model on Psychology;
Prof JAK Erasmus accommodated my field of interest in Psychology Masters by adding an extra & outside of the curriculum examination on Autogenic Training;
Prof Deon van Zyl who since Masters could listen & hear me, & who has become a dear friend & synchronistic brainstorming colleague (I think I still owe him R5 for having lost a previous game of golf);
Mrs Jeanette Marketos for creating the space during Holotropic® Breathwork so that I could encounter my spontaneous healing demons in a JO manner;
And my partner in crime, my wife Elna. As a clinical psychologist partnering for the past 34 years since internship & 33 years of private practice, Elna has been my major think tank resource for downloading & testing ideas on spontaneous healing & the discovery of this thing we now call SHIP®. The lonely road at times of pioneering work necessitates a very good sparring partner for the potentialities to be born into possibilities & the manifested concepts – the interaction on many occasions was the stimulant & sacred space that clarified new awareness & enlarged consciousness.
The gift of such understanding is a rare occurrence.
The year was still 2003
“I cannot get air into my lungs.”
I organized that my neighbour at this remote Tsitsikamma beach took our son to the nearest clinic, 15 km away, for nebulising.
3 hours later:
“I cannot get air.”
I phoned his granddad, a medical doctor who took the 2 hour drive from Port Elizabeth, gave him more nebulation and took him home with him where I joined them the next morning arriving after a 12 hour drive from Pretoria. Casper had just received his 4th nebulising in 14 hours. As he seemed fairly OK the two of us went to a mall in Port Elizabeth for extra groceries to take to our beach house where his three friends were waiting. At the mall he could not get up or out of the car, “Dad I have no energy, I have no breath.” He looked at me. “I need SHIP®,” he said through laboured breathing. He had refused to take more asthma medication and we both realized that the medical profession by this time would have admitted him to ICU.
In the synchronicity of life my brother, a general surgeon of profession, was fully booked that Friday afternoon with his list of operations and his consultation rooms with its examination bunk were ours for the rest of the day. And so that was where my son and I would spend the ensuing 3 hours.
While lying on the examination bunk Casper was aware that I put his asthma pump on the side counter should he decide to use it. But he was determined at the ripe age of 16-years-old that it was now or never. And for the next 90 minutes of his SHIP® he experienced massive contricted waves of air trying to unsuccessfully exit his lungs. During this time his breathing became more and more laboured to the extent that he started turning blue. I remember having had a very brief flash of, “What if?” But this was quickly replaced by my belief in spontaneous healing, for all was given to the moment of healing, there was nothing else to hold onto. Also somewhere during all of this I had the vision of Abraham and his son Isaac. After those 90 minutes of extreme respiratory crisis Casper started spontaneously releasing deep emotion relating to two of his classmates who had in close consession lost their mothers and whom he had to support during their period of grief. Over the next hour he released what he had been carrying inside of him in what seemed a notoriously slow pace. And at the end of those two and a half hours his breathing gradually returned to complete ease.
Afterwards on our way to the restrooms I told him to phone his mother who, 1 200 km away, was deeply worried. Thereafter we returned to the mall, got whatever groceries we needed, and at the outskirts of Port Elizabeth, just before we turned onto the highway, I stopped the Land Rover and spoke to my son:
What happened today has changed your life forever – you have gone to the very edge of spontaneous healing in the dark night of your soul…and your tremendous courage took you through and beyond into the light. Whatever road you chose to take in this life, wherever you go, this wisdom will always accompany you. And I want to thank you for my life has also changed today; it has provided me with an answer on the road ahead, on a choice I had to make. Thank you for this teaching, it is perfect timing.
I was filled with gratitude. We enjoyed five great days at the Tsitsikamma.
A whisper From Johke:
"There are very few things in life I love as much as driftwood.
I love walking on my favourite beach and selecting each piece, first admiring its uniqueness then making sure all life scurries out onto the sand.
I love carrying it home on my shoulder like my father taught me,
I love spreading all the pieces out in the sun to dry.
I love burning it and sitting by the mesmerizing fire.
I love the smell, the sound, the shapes, the colors, the stories and the coals that cook my beautiful creations to perfection."
Life greets us in unique ways & it remains our choice to enter the abyss of within. When I was ignited into such a journey in 2003 I realized this particular occupation can be a downloading bay where certain individuals will project their early-life traumas onto the psychotherapist. This projection is a safe avenue & the reality that has unconsciously been transformed onto the psychotherapist will in the minority of cases remain the belief of such a particular client. Psychology & private practice cater for this unique paradox, namely the person facilitating the healing can also be seen as the demon when the surfacing trauma cannot be accepted & uncovered for the terrible abuse that happened in the early-life of the client.
Nonetheless such activation in the psychotherapist calls for an internal voyage in order to take an evolutionary step. We are only confronted with that which we need so that we may move on. The client, in as much, is busy with a internal personal encounter he/ she needs to integrate. So in short both parties can be activated, but for other reasons, experiences, & with different interpretations.
My particular activation made me book a session with my Holotropic® Breathwork Facilitator Jeanette Marketos. Two of my colleagues joined the group. As Customary in my development of SHIP® I know only one way of doing Holotropic® Breathwork, & that is to give in completely. This implies doing no voluntary action when the internal activation is on route.
In our work as psychotherapists it is inevitable that we expose our point of reference. Being brought up in a Dutch Reformed religious environment, the rituals as a condition of belief did not do it for me. Neither did I enjoy the preacher screaming often at us from the pulpit that we were bad sinners. It contradicted what I experienced inside. Even at that early age I understood that those were his projections & that I would not take ownership of his interpretations which were kept alive by his internal trauma-demons. So eventually I left this environment & meandered through life until my calling clarified. And this is the thing about the spiritual path, it finds you when you open yourself to it. Today I am at a place of inclusivity where with my clients in private practice I am able to facilitate their path as it unfolds inside of them. It is not for me to interfere with their system of belief but to trust that they will find that which they need in order to move on.
Back to the breathwork. It took the usual initiation for my system to be ignited into spontaneous healing. What happened thereafter during my 4 hour session is a reminder of the power of interconnectedness. My body gradually went into an extremely intense spasm which eventually pulled me into a crucified position. And there it kept me for a very, very long time. Later while still in this crucified position a refrain entered & kept repeating in my mind:
I am a servant of the Light,
From the earth I am,
To dance the dance of Life,
In the hand of God
I serve & trust.
Towards the end of the session my right hand took on the gesture (whose meaning I subsequently found in a book of symbols) of The Facilitator. Afterwards we were given the opportunity to draw our experiences. I attach my two drawings. My life-choice is a sacrifice to this calling. Of course practice has taught me that ever so seldom another will for projected leverage, interpret my stance in favour of shunning their responsibility. That though is not my journey, mine is that I stay true to, & live, the inner voice.