I feel the impulse to write a blog. But so many things have been happening, I have no clear direction to take with my expression. My fingers sit against the keys. They are ready for instruction but nothing comes.
The process of integration happens in layers for most people. I am no exception. I am in a layer where I am integrating shock. Shock is one of the worst feelings a person can experience. It feels like having your foot all the way on the gas petal and all the way on the brake petal at the exact same time. There is no movement to it on the surface level. A state of deep freeze, but inside the core of that deep freeze of the nervous system is so much movement it is like a fast-forwarding static. It feels like a dissociated buzz. You’re half in and half out of your body. When you’re in shock, there is screaming inside a core of absolute silence. Life cannot and does not move forward when you are in shock. There is no acceptance and so nothing can process through the system.
If you observe people in shock, their body may be moving, but it is as if they are spinning in circles emotionally. They are stuck, unable to swallow what has occurred. And in this world, we do not stop to help people settle into the shock and allow it to move through them into acceptance and then the subsequent layers of grief. So often we just have to ‘get on with it’. The assumption is that it will take care of itself. We think we are succeeding if we can ‘get on with it’ despite the shock. But what we don’t know is that that state of shock imbeds itself in the tissues of our body. It damages the emotional body. It disables us from really moving forward. We can in fact be stuck in a state of shock for years. As I am integrating shock in my current life, all the places in my past where I could not process the shock and therefore suppressed it instead are coming forward. This week, I have been drug back to my childhood, back into the horror of what occurred there. I have been forced by my own consciousness back to resolve multiple occurrences of unprocessed shock.
Integrating shock is not an affair that I would wish on anyone. It is ironic that I am going through this on the very week that the process I designed for integration (The Completion Process) has been released to the world. Like birth, in the middle of the process, every fiber in me often screams with regret that I ever created this process. A part of me would like to stay fractured instead of feel the pain of healing. But also like birth, in the wake of each integration, I am left with the most incredible relief and gratitude. Like some part of me that was imprisoned in a torture chamber has finally been set free.
In the wake of shock, on and off I have been able to experience such peacefulness in the tiny mundane aspects of every day life. It is as if life settled. The numb and tormenting stillness has melted, letting the frantic movement within escape. The frozen silence has cracked and let the sounds of the world in. The screaming inside has quieted. I have felt a taste of the ecstasy of presence. I have caught myself staring at the light creating brilliant fractals on the bottom of my drinking glass. I have felt tickled by the sound of the aspen trees quivering. I have felt the warmth of the sink water running over my hands. Life feels abundant with sensory delights. As a result, I have revived my love of cooking.
The stray quinoa grains bouncing like tiny white bouncing balls across the granite counter. The sand like feeling of them in the strainer. The way they move under the faucet stream makes them seem excited to participate in the dish they are going to be a part of. The earthy bodies of the black beans. The brilliant summer heat that makes its way into the flavor of the vine ripened tomatoes. The sharp snapping sound of the knife against the vivid flesh of the bell peppers. The way red wine vinegar bites at your sinuses in a way that makes you curious to breathe deeply so you can feel the bite again. The slippery comfort of the olive oil and the way it slides itself into every recess it can find as if it is reassuring all the other ingredients involved.
I love cooking. I love everything about it. For me, each dish is like an edible piece of art. But an art piece that has the power to amalgamate living beings. There is an emptiness to enjoyment when it is not shared. So, to end this blog in alignment with my desire to have you share in this enjoyment of mine, I am going to give you a recipe of mine…
Teal’s Quinoa Summer Salad
2 cups uncooked quinoa
4 cups vegetable broth
3 cups corn kernels
1 large green pepper (diced small)
1 large red pepper (diced small)
3 cups black beans (cooked)
2 cups kidney beans (cooked)
2 cups black olives (sliced)
2 cups cherry tomatoes (quartered)
4 green onions (chopped)
1/2 cup olive oil
1/3 cup red wine vinegar
2 garlic cloves
Salt to taste
Rinse the quinoa well. Combine it with the vegetable broth and bring it to a boil. Turn the heat down so that it is simmering and cook it uncovered for 15 minutes or until all the liquid is absorbed. Then turn the heat off and cover it with a lid and let it stand for five minutes. Fluff it with a fork and put it in a very large bowl.
Toss it with the corn, green pepper, red pepper, black beans, kidney beans, olives, cherry tomatoes and green onions.
In a food processor or blender, combine the olive oil, vinegar, garlic cloves and about 1 tsp. of salt. Blend until frothy and creamy. Pour it over the quinoa/vegetable mix and toss well until the salad is well coated. Add salt if needed to taste and serve. This recipe makes enough for a large party or for abundant leftovers.