Connection, Entrainment, and Healing

A few months ago, I came across a free course on sound healing. On a whim, I signed up. It was mostly just to get people to sign up for a more in-depth paid course, but I did learn a couple of useful things from the free course. One lesson had to do with the concept of entrainment, and this has served me very well recently.

The third definition of entrainment in is “the synchronization of different rhythmic cycles that interact with each other.” Meriam-Webster defines entrain as a transitive verb meaning, “to draw along with or after oneself.” In the course, it was compared to how women’s menstrual cycles will sync up, and in that context, it had to do with how vibrations naturally entrain towards each other.

To be a bit less esoteric about it, another example would be how someone with a radiant or sunny personality can walk into a room and immediately, palpably, lift everyone’s spirits. Conversely, someone with a negative vibe—I think of the character Eyeore—can really bring the vibes in a room way down.

So what does this have to do with healing, and why has it been on my mind lately? The most obvious answer is that surrounding oneself with positivity and higher/brighter vibrations is healing for oneself. But on a larger scale, putting out that higher/brighter vibration is healing to everything and everyone in one’s immediate sphere. Thinking about all the darkness in the world these days, I see how attending to my own vibration—staying positive, hopeful, optimistic—contributes to brightening my own little corner of the universe. And the same goes for every being who brings their own light into their own environments.

I’m remembering the scene from the 6th Harry Potter movie where all the students are holding up their wands to banish the Dark Mark from the sky. Each one is just a tiny pinprick alone, but in unison, they eradicated that darkness.

For my part, I’m trying to be more mindful about sharing my process and lessons in a positive and optimistic light in the hope that something will light a spark in whoever comes across my words. There’s even been a shift in my horror stories (not giving those up & not sorry) because I find myself leaning more towards empowered, lighter outcomes as opposed to the bleak endings I used to gravitate towards.

I feel like this is the way we move the world towards healing—one light at a time.

Firsts and A New Journey

Is it just me or do most people think of sex when they’re asked about a first time for something? Even if it’s just my gutter brain, first sexual experiences are a great showcase of all the terror and wonderfulness of any other “first.” Terror because leading up to the event, there are all these thoughts:
What if it hurts? What if I do something wrong? What if I hate it? And recently, what if the condom breaks and I get knocked up and have to travel to another state to get an abortion and hope my spying neighbors don’t call the police on me? Firsts can fraught with vulnerability, literally laying yourself bare and hoping for kindness at least if not love.
But even thoughts of wonderful results can be scary.
What if it’s amazing? What if do everything right? What if I love it? What if the condom breaks and I get knocked up and live in a state where I have options and I decide I’m cool with having a baby right now?
How can those positives induce fear? Because they lead to expectations that may be challenging to live up to. And even if the expectations are met, the bar might keep going up to a point where the expectations might be unreachable. That’s a huge “maybe” however, and usually way to far in the future to be worth worrying about before you even get the initial act out of the way.
I am currently preparing to take a leap to do something for the first time, and it is honestly terrifying. Instead of just jumping in I slowed myself down and did some planning and preparation, but that also has allowed for a lot of time for all those fear-based questions to arise. Funnily while I thought I was moving forward, I realized the other day that I had left a major component of the project undone. A bit of procrastination goes a long way toward self-sabotage.
I am back on track now, and I set things up so that even if I get cold feet, I’m committed. No backing out now. No matter what the outcome is (which I expect to be good anyway), just getting it done will already be a win.

Toast and Toxic Masculinity

Last night I was thinking about some of my hair triggers—the little annoyances that can make me completely lose my shit and go absolutely psycho. For example, when my son startled me the other night, I lost it a little, yelling at him. But I calmed down fairly quickly. But yesterday, while I was making dinner, I almost went nuclear. Over some toast.

I was making a meal delivery service recipe—mushroom and pepper hoagies with potatoes. Everything was going smoothly, dare I say well, until I had to toast the rolls. When I went to take them out of the toaster oven, one side of a roll fell through the rack. I tried to use a knife to get it out and just managed to push it farther under the rack. I tried using two knives and burned my hand multiple times. This was the point where I felt my inner Hulk coming out. However, because I have grown and evolved, I stopped at growling, just shy of throwing the knives or stabbing the bread into breadcrumbs.

I took a breath.

And I saw that I could just take the rack out (with a potholder!) and get the roll out. Dinner was saved.

One of the patterns I see in myself is that when I am trying to figure something out or make something work, I get very determined. And then that determination turns to stubbornness, which then slips into the territory of madwoman. And I really have not been able to identify why that is.

I would like to blame being born under a moon in Scorpio. But that’s probably not the whole of it.

So what else is it? There’s an element of not wanting to let people down—like my son the time I couldn’t help him figure out how to change one of his passwords. Or my family by not being able to deliver someone’s dinner intact. But I could have just toasted another roll, so that can’t be it either.

Perhaps it is a fear of being wrong or lacking because of failing to do some “thing.” The word defeat comes to mind. There is a sense of unworthiness or worthlessness attached to allowing myself to be defeated by whatever task or problem I’m trying to tackle.

I just felt a wave of emotion wash over me, so I must be on the right track.

This is where my masculine energy veers into toxic territory. I can be very competitive, but to the point of meanness, being an incredibly sore loser, pushing beyond limits to “win.” And I’m using the term “win” loosely. Succeed?

Last year I limped my way to finishing a half marathon, and a week later ran a five-mile race I intended to walk (should have walked). The friend I was supposed to walk with changed her mind at the last minute and wanted to run. I could have stuck to my original plan, but that felt like giving up, and forfeiting is an automatic loss. I ended up out of commission for six weeks with a stress fracture in my foot.

The hyper-competitiveness extends beyond myself. My kids are both Cross Country and Track runners. Remember the scene from The Breakfast Club? “’Andrew! You’ve got to be number one! I won’t tolerate any losers in this family! Your intensity is for shit! Win! Win! Win!’” I’ve never been nearly as bad as the father in the movie towards my kids, but I can’t say I’ve never talked crap about rival runners in a less-than-sportsmanlike way, especially the ones that were nasty to my own. That aggression comes from the same place as not wanting to be defeated by tasks or problems. It’s about victory. Triumph. Conquest. Our patriarchal culture puts a very high value on succeeding at any cost.

While this is toxic masculine energy, it’s not reserved only for those who are male gendered. Plenty of women as well as those of all gender identities can fall into this energy.

I see this in the fandom space I currently participate in, which happens to be primarily occupied by females. But that toxic competitiveness is overwhelming and even dangerous. Picture millions of people who are unhealthily invested in “being right.” Once they’ve been burned a few times and are angry, their knives start flying in the form of death threats, encouraging suicide, and doxing their perceived enemy.

The fandom is a microcosm of society. The January 6th attack on the US Capitol are a prime example of this energy in a larger context. The riot didn’t sprout from a vacuum. It came from a toxic lack of grace when things don’t go someone’s way.

And I recognize that I am a tiny microcosm of it all.

It would have been simpler to blame my moon sign and be done with it. I can’t do anything about my birth chart, but knowing how this energy is playing out through me and how I effect the collective, I have a responsibility to do better.

One thing I noticed is that once I stopped, even for just a second, to take a breath, I very quickly was able to see a solution. Sometimes a pause to think is all it takes to stop oneself from taking a regrettable action. But in the moment, it can be hard to see when to hit the brakes before the situation is spinning out of control. A support system outside of the situation helps. If that’s not available, knowing one’s signs is useful. My hands and jaw clench up, I literally start growling, and I find myself in a loop, repeating the same ineffective behavior time after time.

So maybe I need a rule—after the third time, if a solution doesn’t work, pause. If I see myself all balled up and not breathing, pause. Take a breath. Maybe walk away and get some water. Or walk away and ask for help. It takes a bit of self-awareness, but it’s not impossible. Imagine how it would look and feel if every person started to loosen up a bit in this way. The effect on the energy of our collective society would be astounding and beautiful.

Doing Away with Roles and Limitations

I was thinking about roles earlier—how we identify ourselves according to the roles that we perform. We live in a culture that has a tendency to be obsessed with categorizing and putting things into little boxes, which is annoying. But we all tend to have these roles that we fit into, like I might have the role of mother, or I might identify with the role of writer. We identify multiple roles simultaneously, all the time, so people are constantly wearing different hats. You don’t necessarily take off one hat when you operate in the space of another hat. For instance, I might be acting in the role of Mom when I drive my daughter to work, but I’m also wearing a driver hat, and I’m also wearing black woman hat. All these things overlap and intersect constantly.

One thing that I’m trying to be mindful of these days is that because one can have multiple roles, they don’t have to define one’s self-view. All those functions can be true simultaneously. Even being many things at once doesn’t equal the sum total of anyone’s identity. Leaning too much into or identifying too much with designations is very limiting because they don’t account for so many other things that one could do or be that maybe hasn’t been revealed yet. So it’s not necessary to be so tied into or wedded to the roles that are put on us, sometimes without our consent. Gender is usually (not always) assigned to someone based on their genitals. But we now know that gender identity can differ from gender assignments.

I’m thinking about this topic in part because I have this online space, this website, that’s usually just sitting here. I haven’t used the blog or put anything much in there because I felt like this is a writing space and my author page, and so I should only put stuff there that pertains to my writing, or writing in general. I limited the content of this page. And further I limited it to specific kinds of writing like—primarily fantasy and horror. But that’s not the only kind of writing I want to do. Sometimes I want to just write about my thoughts. So this space stagnated because of the role that I assigned to the site. The beauty is that I can choose to expand it.

What I want to do now is use this blog space to write whatever I’m thinking about at any given time, unlimited. And further, I don’t want to limit my writing anymore. Maybe sometime I will write a romance or maybe I’ll write a children’s book (unlikely but you never know). Perhaps a memoir or a self-help book, who knows. I want to start using this space more than I have. In terms of looking at the roles that identify me, I personally am trying to lean away from any specific designations because even in a particular job, you don’t do just one thing, right?

I used to work in accounting. I had multiple tasks and responsibilities—sometimes I had to do payroll. Sometimes I had to do travel reimbursement. Sometimes I had to do escrow accounting. Within a role, there can be multiple branches and there needs to be fluidity in moving between them. So being wedded into one way of identifying oneself or what an identity looks like at one point doesn’t necessarily allow for growth and expansion. If one’s goal is to keep growing and expanding, they have to release the idea of being this thing because it might go through many iterations and manifestations. So I think this space is going to evolve, and I am going to evolve with it.