By Keith Irwin
Working with Joan I now have the space in my body to feel and experience the world like never before. My body held so much trauma and so many repressed emotions deep within and throughout that I was unable to perceive the world this way. I had an experience of the world solely through my head. Everything is energy. Emotions take up space and block out life and information. I was running old programs and beliefs, thinking I could feel. I had no idea. Joan has cleared out much of the old and helped me to really feel, deeply and honestly, for the first time. I am now exhilarated when a feeling comes on and instead of putting a story on it I’m more inclined to allow myself to feel it in my body and outgas it. Hello there, thank you and good bye. This is my goal. This has all happened in a short time; a couple of months for me. Thank you Joan.
I sat at the kitchen table gazing across the room and out the window. The blue checkered table cloth lays mostly flat on the small round table before me; its left edge tucked down against the wall. The cushion which supported me was just enough. The chair was wood; painted white. My back was to the corner, and I was able to take it all in; all that was in the room. There was a golden haze that covered everything and filled the space. It was like being in an aquarium. Thick and fluid.
Late afternoon was leaving and dusk setting in. There is still enough light to see everything clearly but with a dampened filter that was soothing and put me at ease. I could see the yellow ceramic tiles on the wall across the room, hugging the counters underneath and the cabinets above them. A thin strip of them ran under the window sill behind the sink.
Out the window was a short but old tree trunk, not much higher than my eye, with bright green leaves on young stems in full bloom reaching for the sky. Fran had cut them back last year so they wouldn’t tangle with the power line high above. The reddish wood fence too was in sight and they met my gaze. They were also milked in this lazy golden haze. It was soupy. I could see it. Everything was soft and inviting. Easy. Welcoming and familiar.
I felt comfortable sitting at the table about to eat. I adjusted myself in the chair and felt the sides of my lower back rub up against the chair in a swooshing, snaking movement, like a rope, searching for a better posture. First my right side and then my left. I found it easily. The one I was looking for. I felt my back activate and as my front side gently nestled back into me I felt myself take in more of the room. It was like a slow moving vortex, slowly drawing in the colors and shapes and spatial relationship of everything in the room. It was slow and pleasant. I saw the wall to my left, pale white and close enough that I could rest my head on it if I so desired. It provided a sense of focus to guide my gaze out in the direction of the window: an edge directing my sight.
On a diagonal to my right and slightly in front, sat an older black oven against a wall of the yellow tiles. This led to more counter, more tiles and more cabinets that led my eyes to the corner and then back to the window with my view. It was the focal point of my gaze but everything else seemed to frame it so perfectly. My gaze shifted and the space shifted to provide a new frame. I felt satisfaction observing the space and settling in, anticipating my meal. I was a part of it. I was aware of that and had a vision going out in all directions.
My dinner lay before me on the table, freshly heated and displayed in a nice carton container from the market. The oven was still slightly warm and I could smell the many aromas. Spice and warmth. I inhaled deeply through my nose. It balanced out with the cool wall to my left. Everything perfect. I enjoyed the blue in the checkered cloth with the greens and reds out the window; and birds were chirping. I’d been seeing so many birds lately hopping into my life to let me know they are there. All so rich. The space had depth and I was in it. Vegetable enchiladas and meatballs were at the table’s edge, warmed and ready for me. I had my favorite fork in my left hand; a brushed metal one. Simple but solid. The weight of it in my hand felt good. Another pleasurable observation.
I adjusted my back some more and pressed it again firmly into the chair. My senses heightened and I felt more connection to the room. It was nurturing. It felt like a sanctuary. Peaceful and stimulating at the same time. Eager to eat, I lowered my fork into the enchilada. I could see it was thick with many layers and flavors with a nice gooey cheese. It felt good to cut into it with the side of my fork and feel the displacement of it as I pushed some back away from me to make enough space to tilt the fork under and scoop up my bite. I was generous with the size and as I brought the fork close to my mouth i felt the joy of having a home cooked meal in this space. The loaded fork went into my mouth. As my lips closed and I began to feel my food touch the insides of my mouth and run across my tongue I felt the warmth and tasted the flavor. So much flavor. So lush. So delicious. A perfect bite for a perfect moment. I couldn’t believe how rich and savory this bite was as it moved around in my mouth. Had I ever tasted such good food? Had I ever allowed myself to enjoy it so? I was generous with myself. It felt like slow motion as I took it all in. There seemed to be no limit to the pleasure. I leaned back more . That turned up the experience a notch as I took in the space with my eyes and with my body. This was always here.