A conversation with PTSD, with a side of Grief, in the Desert

By: Angela McPherson

Warrior Goddess Weekend Sedona, September 2016 with HeatherAsh Amara and Sarah Marshank

Sarah Rose Marshank, HeatherAsh’s best friend is with us for the retreat.  I am instantly fascinated by her and can’t wait to learn some of her knowledge.  As we gather in the meeting room Saturday afternoon, I feel some anxiety enter my body and think to myself, this is going to be a powerful session, so excited!

She wisps around the room talking about energy being held within the body and I find myself nodding with each point she makes.  “Yep, she’s on the same page, speaking the same language, yet her techniques are foreign”.  “We are going to move, dance, shake, jump, whatever you feel you need to do, just go with it, and greet whatever comes up.” She announces.  There are 3 different roles you can take, observing, being with source, or moving.

“Okay…not really sure how this is going to work, I’m open, lets see what happens.”  The music starts and 53 women start moving, pacing, sitting, praying, all doing what they are intuitively drawn to do.  I choose to walk the perimeter of the room while observing, I chuckle to myself thinking, “yep, of course you start in warrior mode”.  I softly allow myself to open up and let the music in and explore what’s going on in my body.

My head hurts.  My hands instinctively come up and cup the back of my head as I walk.  Zoning into that area, sliding my fingers over the impact site, it takes me back to my fall in 2007, where I ended up with a minor traumatic brain injury.  Emotions start bubbling up and I start rubbing my head harder and harder, digging my knuckles into the injury site, urging it to release.

​The tears start to flow, and I panic. “I can’t to this…not here…I can’t do this.”  The shortness of breath takes over, fight or flight kicks in and I’m done.  Triggered, I turn and literally head out of the building into the blistering heat of the sun.  Pacing back and forth in the desert, attempting to regain control of my breath, the conversation in my head starts.

“It’s okay, It’s okay, It’s okay, you are safe.”
“No I am not, I am not opening that door, it’s life threatening.”
“You are safe, these women have you, you are safe.”
“NO…if you peel that layer I will die.  Literally die, for real, die. Too much pain.”
“Okay, breathe.  Lift your head to the sun, grow your roots and remember where you are and who you are with.”“You don’t understand, you are not listening, I will seriously die….like leave this planet, die”
Paralyzing fear rips through my body as tears stream down my face.
“Do you remember who you are here with?  You came here to have these powerhouse women hold you. You love HeatherAsh.  Remember HeatherAsh said Sarah is strong enough to hold her?  If she can hold HeatherAsh, she can hold you.”
“Sigh, I remember…….I can’t, it’s too painful.”
“Okay, then why don’t we just go back in and sit in the observer’s chair?  You don’t have to go there.”
“Okay fine, but I”m not opening up….I’m just watching.”
“Okay fine, let’s go.”

I dried my tears, prayed for protection, and slowly walked back into the building.  I found a chair along the wall and slowly started tapping back into the energy and healing of the session.  Committed to moving some of the energy out, I found myself slipping out of my chair and sitting in the middle of the floor, allowing the women to dance around me as I stretched.  I started relaxing into the music and allowing some deep breathing to come into my body.

The voices of angels entered my soul, a deep base tone ran through my body as the speakers vibrated the most powerful “ohms” over and over and over and with each one, more and more emotion erupted through my soul.

Waves upon waves of dizzying emotion, trauma, anger, abandonment crashed through me over and over.

The ugly snot cry commenced and with it a blinding flash of fear. I came out of my body and back into my head and realized I had Sarah Rose to my right and HeatherAsh to my left, whisping around, doing their thing and holding space.

Knowing my container was being held, feeling their energy tapped into mine, I let go and allowed my fear to aggressively turn into grief. So much grief;  sobs and sobs of volcanic meltdown, heart wrenching pain coming from deep within my soul.

Grieving loss; loss of a career, loss of relationships, loss of a child still living.

My heart ached like it was physically going to break, my right hand crossed over my chest to hold the ribs in place over my heart as I was sure they were going to snap as I sobbed.

I grieved for that child, those first couple of years after my head injury, her loss.  How profoundly it affected her and our relationship to this day.  More heart break, more sobbing, unpeeling deeper and deeper layers, praying for forgiveness and healing.  Raw, ravaging, aching pain, deep breathing in between the unbelievable amount of tears, whilst pushing my chest harder with my palms praying my ribs wouldn’t break.

“ooohhhmmmmm aaahhhhhh oommmmm”

The pure angelic voices took over and my shredded heart started to calm.  An immense sigh emerged from my soul and sheer exhaustion started slowly creeping in.  My entire body throbbed in pain as I melted into the floor, allowing the vibration of the music sooth me as beautiful souls danced around me.  Vibrations shifted as I drifted out of my body and allowed it to clear and heal.

“oooohhhmmmm aaaaahhhhh oooommmmmm”.

I slowly picked myself up off the floor, feeling drugged and hazy, and made my way outside into the sun. Lifting my face to the heat, completely open, I felt the energy of the Universe embrace my soul and permeate every inch with pure clarity…….

“You are enough”

“We did it…YAY…can you believe it!?  And we didn’t die!”
“Hmmppf…perhaps you were right….this time.”


Remembering Fire

The Elixir Of Meditation
The Path Maker Divine

Meditation allows me to go into the gaps in my thinking and escape into the wildness, the energy that is God love, our pure energy, and connection to source.

Source of all is available to us at any time.  It is what fuels us at all times.  It just takes uncovering to see this truth; to remember.

To get here I pay attention to my breath until I can recognize myself as the witness witnessing my thoughts.  Then, I see an entranceway into a gap.  I have to be in a state of unconditional love which starts the remembering; starting the remembering fire.

To do this, I consciously choose to love myself in the places where I see judgement.  This judgment zone is marked by a feelings of low-grade worry; unsettled.

I push through those pockets of unsettling unrest where I had been grasping from the unexplored things in myself.  When I find these pockets and find what my unrest is about, I choose to forgive myself.  I am not temporary.  I am forever.  So, I know to forgiving myself is essential.  I come into a softening inside myself and I let go.  I continue in my intention to keep softening, keep understanding, keep listening, to keep loving with my conscious attention.

By this point in my meditation I am able to feel myself as a precious being, who I’ve been since before this lifetime.  I feel compassion for myself for the road I’ve traveled.

From here I am able to decide to re-visit the issues later that are in my worry pockets.  I trust myself and relax in the power.  I submit.  I finally find surrendering desirable to be within.

My system sends a resounding agreement by giving me a let down elixir similar to a mother’s milk being sucked out by new life.  It feels good.  I land into a space where it’s easier to remain as the witness.

From here I can go into those gaps into places of wonderment.  It was here all along underneath our perception of “everything”.

We have the power and the choice to cut through all that we perceive ourselves to be.  We break through worries and concerns in this place.  This is where we came from.  And, is where we still are, and will always be.

Going here everyday, even for a few minutes, sets me in a place where I am more aligned with what is best for me.  It’s a daily refuge, and a resetting.

The intention, will, and action it takes to travel into my soul’s basis energy is the remembering fire.  The fire of the will to lead to fuller connection, fuller conscious memory, fuller knowledge of who I am is most precious.

The times when I’ve lost this connection were when I allowed the poisons of the earth (other’s negative energy, bad food, alcohol, fear) to rule over me.  We can practice either way- toward closing or toward opening.  Bad foods lead to layers of coverage over the truth.  Healthy eating for long term health opens the truth.

If we practice keeping clean with healthy foods and substances for our bodies, we will develop a bigger pathway for regular opening up to our inner divinity.  When we make this our habit, other routes will not make sense to our system because our system feels at home, feels whole, when we are consciously taking care of it. It’s as if there’s a sign that says “The Doctor Is In” on the doorway to our system.  It feels taken care of, and like it can let loose.  And, it does.  This is self trust in meditative action.

If we practice allowing trash to enter our system until we are drunken with odd energy regularly, a bigger pathway for this will be made in our system.  And, from here it’s hard to trust that the healthier path is best.  We are too covered over, and too buried in the distress of illusions, and false truths to see very clearly.  So we will most likely remain in distress.  Here is where the mind goes back and forth through revolving reactionary thoughts of things from the current outside world, outside the self.  Our focus here tends to remain here.  And, with great endurance and creativity we think about the things we are worried about.  Our brains main job is to problem solve.  It does it’s job well.  It does this job all the time if we let it.

When we are in distress, all we trust is the distress for the most part.  The only way to break into it is to take at least a sliver of consciousness and put it into action by intention to sit in love within ourselves.  This is very challenging when most of the system is in distressing progress.

But even just a sliver of love, of intention to love and forgive oneself is the remembering fire.  It starts.  Then, it burns through more layers than we can perceive.  Yes, it goes to work for us beyond our comprehension.

By the grace of the divine, of you, of your remembering fire, you save you!

You save yourself each time you try.

Try, try, try.  Oh…may we try!🙏

In the most distressing of distressful feelings, we do have the capacity to enter into ourselves a sliver of the fire.  Here an opening occurs.  And, you are free again in the gaps of truth.

I have seen this happen even when the human mind has become permanently irreparable.  I have seen the light of peace come over the eyes of dementia ridden human beings.  After lengthy ongoing distress from the inability to remember or organize thoughts, like a bad dream that wouldn’t end, a sense of peace looks to be found.  It appears as if they were set to a time when they were a child, or some time when everything was all right.  This is how I know that we have a built in divinity center inside us that takes control even in the midst of the heaviest chaos imaginable.  I believe there’s a crack in the system where the fire angels enter.  The sliver of remembering fire is there even when we are not in conscious intent of it.  It’s a naturalized prayer.  It’s the grace of God.  It’s our higher power.  It is us.  It is our connection, our pathway to the unending remembering fire that roars through all of life.

Yes.  I’ve been a witness to these things.  I’ve been a lucky passenger in the front seat of the eyes of God.  I have been invited and carried to my seat where the more I witness, the more I witness.  I have been mute, or else my memory scrambled back in to fit the speech of the people until what I’ve seen is wiped clean away from my conscious language.  I am merely a humble servant, a naturalized recorder of the human spirit, but a silent player in the world.

In honor of our facilitated connection to the divine, may we meditate daily.  May we come home to ourselves everyday.  May we practice opening our pathway, our gift of life.  May we regularly pay homage to our remembering fire.

Bringer Of Fire
17 year veteran caregiver
Witness Of The Spirit
Warrior Goddess Facilitator



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