birds in a barrel's mission is to release creative nonfiction into the wild.

40 Days & 40 Writes is its first project.


"The fear of receiving resonates in the deepest levels of the psyche. To receive is to let happen, to open to grief and loss, and to open to love and delight." Marion Woodman

Body work is part of the self care regimen I instituted long ago. As an intern, my psychotherapist Barbara "Babs Blabs" Mullen, ever the Crone, exhorted: "Sue, if you are going to give, you are going to have to receive!" I had to learn how to receive. Because, I had not received in the first place. Loving touch. Not to mention healing touch, in which I placed my naked body in someone's hands.

Now, my calendar is filled with self care appointments. While not impeccable, it is a testimony to a promise I have made to continue to learn to care for this body, this soul. It changes from time to time, because, as my dear Sue Haskell said: "Self care is an art form." My current and also long time bodyworker, Carol, says self care is a full time job. True.

Carol is a Hellerwork practitioner. Structural integration. Massage with her is a blend of nurturing and tearing down. It is not your Spa Queen for a Day treatment. This is therapy.
Every time I see Carol, she always asks about wants and needs, but I always end up saying: "We'll find out." And we do.

In triggerpoint massage, there are correspondences to emotion, feeling states, that when touched physically, can release and heal. Recently, in a session, my shoulders, both, were very tender and painful. Carol dug in. I breathed through it. Finally, when I could not bear it much more, I demanded: "What is this about?!"
To which she gave an anatomical description; but cut to it: "Anger".

Then, she asked: "Busted?" Yes, busted. Not just anger, throw in a rage too. Let's be honest. Funny, I did not know I was carrying it there, specifically. She continued to work, and I told her: "It's not pretty." I went on to provide the backstory on the anger. It does go deep, and when life spins out of control, as it does, and has been, there I go.

As painful as it is to contact such feeling, I know that to touch it, to hear it, to see it, to accept it, is necessary. Body work is Soul work. Better to have sore shoulders from breaking down shadow than have it erupt elsewhere. Full time job indeed.

Third Time's a Charm

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