One weekend, two weddings.
Given we hadn’t been to a wedding in 16 years that’s pretty impressive don’t you think?
I’d be lying to you if I said I didn’t feel daunted, exhausted, overwhelmed just thinking about going to two big events on the same weekend.
But I had a plan – what I was going to wear, how I was going to do my hair, the jewellery that went with it all (in essence all the super practical and important things!) and just went into get-it-done mode on the day! I’d also had some super challenging emotional stuff to deal with the week before and decided STUFF IT! I deserved to have fun and that’s what I was going to do!
I freely admit that I don’t get out much. I mean I do, for all the usual things like groceries and haircuts and school pickups and all the other off-the-charts exciting Mum stuff I do on the daily. But for social events with lots of people and noise and small talk? Nope, not my regular cup of tea at all.
The first wedding was the traditional sort.
A beautiful bride in a gorgeous white gown; a handsome groom who’d waited his entire adult life for this day to arrive; family and friends who were so.damn.happy they both found their way to this moment.
This wedding was a party but it was also a reunion of sorts. Hubby met the groom when they were both in their first year at Uni, and along with nine other men at the wedding had remained friends ever since. For the past ten or so years these guys have met in a city somewhere in Australia (though they did roam to New Zealand one year!) for a boys weekend. They’ve always known how to party these guys, and having met them when I was 21, being the first woman on the scene #eek , I knew what they were capable of! But these men and their wives, many who I hadn’t seen for so many years it was embarrassing, are family to us, and to see what was nearly the last good man standing amongst them get married? Words can’t describe how much joy and love and happiness we all felt!
The second wedding was a celebration of a couple who decided a party was the only thing for it.
Family and friends packed a booked out restaurant, instructed not to bring gifts but to wear colour colour COLOUR – and party!
So yes there was joy and love and conversation and excitement and all of it at both weddings, but the one thing I did at both celebrations that I hadn’t done for a long time was dance!
How long has it been since you’ve had a good romp around a dance floor? For me it felt like forever!
Sure I’d danced in my kitchen and my office and sometimes the Woollies aisle with a trolley full of groceries but those places don’t quite have the same vibe as throwing yourself around a dance floor to 80s classics with other people doing the same thing!
A week after throwing myself around the dance floor with complete abandon I was at my weekly pilates class. My teacher Rebecca asked me, as she always does at the start of a class, how I was feeling. Rebecca had been on the frozen shoulder journey with me since it and bursitis #yuck started back in March / April 2020 (cast your mind back to that time in all our lives. Coincidence much??). And as I threw my arms around, with complete ease and close to 100% range, Rebecca said to me “Oh my gosh, what happened?”.
“I went to two weddings where there was so much joy and love there was no way my shoulder could stay frozen” I said with a massive smile on my face!
I knew there were deep emotions blocked in that shoulder (my right, for any astute readers keen to know!). Grief, shame, fear, feeling like a failure, amongst others.
I’d been working on my shoulder – the physical, emotional and spiritual – for literally 18+ months. Thanks to my healing team which included Carla, Rebecca and Felicity at pilates, Rachel my acupuncturist, Lauren my osteopath, Lisa my masseuse, and Sara-Jane my craniosacral therapist, physical movement and healing was gently brought back in.
But given my knowledge and understanding of energy I knew I needed to focus on the emotional and spiritual as much as the physical. And that’s where I turned toward Inna Segal’s book ‘The Secret Language of the Body’.
Inside was a beautiful meditation / visualisation that helped me bust through the energetic brick wall separating my shoulder from the rest of my body. Literally the first time I did the meditation I came up against an energetic brick wall, where the mortar was glued so tightly and the bricks stacked so high I could hardly find a path through. But I knew in my heart I had to, to unfreeze the frozen tears blocked inside. And so I worked diligently, slowly, patiently, burrowing my way through the energetic mortar, creating the smallest pin prick of space between two bricks for light to seep through. And so it was, the energetic healing began, there to support all the physical healing my team and I were traversing together.
And we were so close! After nearly two years of this journey we were nearly there! My shoulder range was at about 85% and I was on a mission to get full range back (though it had been mentioned to me that that may not happen).
And so it was to be, at those two weddings, with all the joy and love and connection and fun, the final healing took place. This powerful celebration, one of our cultural rights of passage, had the power to unite not just the bride and groom but also my energy body, bringing together the unhealed parts that lived inside me.
Perhaps you’ve experienced something similar? Your own spontaneous healing that could be traced back to a place, a time, a situation in your own life where love and joy were the key emotions on tap?
Sure, I still have work to do. My shoulder, and body more widely, has lost a lot of strength over the years as we’ve traversed this healing journey together. Years where menopause also landed and, in turn, changed my body forever.
But I know from here I have a choice. To learn from the experience, to move emotions through my body instead of holding onto them, to be open to possibilities instead of fearing what’s on the other side – or not.
I don’t know if I’ll be any good at it, this making the right choice thing. I know at times I’ll feel like I’m on the right track and in flow, and at other times I’ll feel like I’m the biggest failure on the planet. But I feel that as long as I stay in my body, grounded, connected, listening intently, I’ll be OK.
Time will tell I suppose.
Until next time, with deep love to you on your journey,
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© helen joy butler 2021 | design by vari mckechnie | photos by covington & co.
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helen joy butler
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