whoa! back up

Mary was a native women in her early forties, …


… slight of stature, gentle and deferential in manner … My heart still warms  – and constricts with sorrow – when I think of Mary.

Sometimes synchronicity is so big that you go right past the ‘flashing-light & drum-roll phenomenon’ into a kind of disbelief, where all you can do is work with its immensity.

This happened just a hop, skip and a jump after I posted game of thorns. If you didn’t read that article (or if you need a reminder) go back and at least read the first few paragraphs.

Right after finishing that article I began reading a book that had caught my eye at the library. On the first page I was introduced to Mary:

Mary and I had never talked much until the illness that was to take her life gave its first signals. The beginning seemed innocent enough: a sewing-needle puncture wound on a fingertip failed over several months to heal … Despite several hospitalizations and surgical procedures,


… she was within a year begging for an amputation to rid her of the throbbing ache in her finger. By the time she got her wish the disease was rampant, and powerful narcotics were inadequate in the face of her constant pain

I completely missed the sync when it happened.

It wasn’t until I woke from sleep the next day that the the ‘holy, holy fuck‘ nonchalantly strolled into my consciousness.

In game of thorns I posed this question:

Does the fairy tale Sleeping Beauty tell the story of how our spines were put to sleep?

baby show er

… A curse is placed upon a baby princess, so that on her sixteenth birthday she will prick her finger on a spindle & die

That sync was only half the story.

In my article I suggested that the ‘secret’ or ‘power’ name for our spines/ backs might be …


… the word

The name of the book which opens with Mary’s tale is called When the Body Says No. The author & doctor, Gabor Mate, went on to assert that he believed that Mary’s illness was intricately linked to the fact that she had never learned to say ‘NO’.

Mary  described herself as incapable of saying no … Her major concern continued to be her husband and her nearly adult children , …


… even as her illness became more grave. Was the scleroderma her body’s way of finally rejecting this all-encompassing dutifulness?

I’m not going to bore you with tales of synchronicity, but I wanted to share the bigness of that because it’s why this particular article exists. When synchronicity speaks lucidly I always pay attention.

Let’s see if it has something for you too.

First off we find the age old tale, ignored for eons:

One day, almost on a whim, in response to a whisper of intuition that she needed to be heard, I invited Mary to make an hour-long appointment so that she would have the opportunity to tell me something about herself and her life. When she began to talk, it was a revelation. Beneath her meek and diffident manner was a vast store of repressed emotion. Mary had been abused as a child, abandoned and shuttled from one home to another … “I was so scared all the time … but as a seven-year-old I had to protect my sisters. And no one protected me.”  She had never revealed these traumas before, not even to her husband of twenty years.”

Truth is punched forth from that paragraph.

First off we have a “healer” – & yet it is only by a hare’s breath, a whim, a whisper, …

story 8

… that he finally asks this cherished patient about her story.

Worded & picture fantasists aka the entertainment industry, have bombarded us with the idea that ‘immature adults’ the world over “whine” about childhoods, while weirdos & sickos ‘blame’ …


… their ‘failings‘ on their parents’.

If this wasn’t such dangerous hypnosis, I’d applaud it’s incredible success. We now have a world of people who doom their fellow planet-mates to lives of silent agony, because they prefer to fear, rather than ‘hear’, (heal) their stories.

What if there’s a very basic formula to illness:


Trapped within the host-self’s body,
unheard stories seek
a way out (of the body)
by coding themselves into
disease format.

What is almost impossible for us to digest, is the level of hurt & cruelty inflicted on pretty much all children since time immemorial – we could surely date it back to the very first time that …

caned abel

… ‘man was inhuman to man’.

That’s why you can read the following without really feeling upset:

There was never any respite for her … There was no internal resting place

All my life … ever since childhood, I have been having this dream of being buried alive. I lie in my underground coffin, closed in, unable to breathe

A child in her situation survives by pretending to herself, and to the world, that she has no needs she cannot take care of herself. One aspect of that pretence is to reduce the perception of emotional stresses to a child-friendly size, a habit that may then last for a lifetime

… And yet the mind & emotions (your stories) are always made flesh:

The problem is not lack of feeling but an excess of painful, unmetabolized emotion.”

psychoneuroimmunology [studies] the indissoluble unity of emotions and physiology … the ways that the psyche – the mind and its content of emotions– profoundly interacts with the body’s nervous system and how both of them, in turn, form an essential link with our immune defences

Many doctors over the centuries came to understand that emotions are deeply indicated in the causation of illness or in the restoration of health … Our immune system does not exist in isolation from daily experience

Physiologically, emotions are themselves electrical, chemical and hormonal discharges of the human nervous system. Emotions influence – and are influenced by – the functioning of our major organs, the integrity of our immune defences and the working of the many circulating biological substances  … Repression – dissociating emotions from awareness and relegating them to the unconscious realm – disorganizes and confuses our physiological defences

Our doctor (& author) of today’s extracts came to a vitally important understanding:

In important areas of their lives, almost none of my patients with serious disease had ever learned to say no

… they were exposed to acute and chronic stress by their childhood conditioning, … an environmentally conditioned helplessness that permits neither of the normal responses of flight or flight … Eventually, having unmet needs or having to meet the needs of others is no longer experienced as stressful. It feels normal. One is disarmed

Disease, in other words, is not a simple result of some external attack but develops in a vulnerable host in whom the internal environment has become disordered

Now let’s look at one of our most powerful immunity guard dogs:

Sometimes the biggest impetus to healing can come from jump-starting the immune system with a burst of long-suppressed anger

Introducing ANGER.

Hmmm … is there some underhand reason why the English word anger is spelled so close to Danger.

How would it be if you were to find out that
it’s not really dangerous at all?

The following is delicious & what’s more I can back it up from my life:

How then to resolve the dilemma of anger? If the expression of anger is harmful and so is its repression, how do we hope to attain health and healing?

I had a fascinating conversation on these two seemingly opposite ways of coping with Allen Kalpin … He points out that repression & rage represent a fear of the genuine  experience of anger.

I found Kaplin’s description of genuine anger surprising, even as it rang completely true to me.  His explanation made me realize the confusion … about this emotion. Healthy anger, he says, …


… is an empowerment and a relaxation. The real experience of anger “is physiologic experience without acting out“. The experience is one of a surge of power going through the system, along with a mobilization to attack. There is, simultaneously, a complete disappearance of all anxiety.

“When healthy anger is starting to be experienced, you don’t see anything dramatic.  What you do see is a decrease of all muscle tension. The mouth is opening wider, because the jaws are more relaxed, the voice is lower in pitch because the vocal cords are more relaxed. The shoulders drop, and you see all signs of muscle tension disappearing … In a tape of one of my clients, he described powerful surges of electricity going through his body … but outwardly he’s just sitting there describing it. If you’re watching the tape without the sound on, you’ll see a person looking quite focused and quite relaxed, but you wouldn’t necessarily even guess that the person was angry.”

If anger is relaxation, then what is rage? When I am in a rage, my face is tight, my muscles are tense and I am sure I look anything but relaxed. Here Dr Kaplin makes a crucial distinction. “The question is, What do people really experience when they experience rage?  … If you ask in physical, physiologic terms what they are experiencing in their body … for the most part, people will describe anxiety in one form or another.”


“It’s true,” I said, “tightening of the voice, shallow breathing, muscle tension are signs of anxiety, not of anger.”

“Exactly. Their anger is not physiologically experienced, it is only being acted out.”

If a person unconsciously fears the power of his aggressive impulses, there are various forms of defence available to him. One … is discharge, by which we regress to an early childhood state ….  acting-out, … yelling, … screaming and even hitting … serves as a defence against the experience of the anger


… Discharge defends against anger being actually experienced.

The other way we can avoid the experience of anger if through repression. So repression and discharge are two two sides of the same coin. Both represent fear and anxiety

I’m really hoping you grasped all that,

it may just save your life, or your sanity. Here’s more clarity:

Anger does not require hostile acting out. First and foremost, it is …

body experienced

a physiological process to be experienced. Second it has cognitive value – it provides essential information. Since anger does not exist in a vacuum, if I feel anger it must be in response to  some perception on my part. … I am empowered without harming anyone if I permit myself to experience the anger and to contemplate what may have triggered it. Depending on circumstance, I may choose to manifest the anger in some way or to let it go. The key is that I have not suppressed the experience of it.

Thanks to this book I now understand the quite astonishing (to me) anger I have experienced in the last few years. Brought up in an environment where no anger was tolerated, I avoided confrontation in the most amazing ways & swallowed other people’s attacks by making things ‘my fault’.

I recall with enormous clarity the fantastic turning point a few years ago in a job I had worked at for over ten years. I’d given it everything. My boss, I see clearly now, was a father figure for me, & as in childhood, I poured everything into making a heart-cold man, breathe.

I can keep going for a loooong time – it took four particularly horrible years with this miserable shit before I fell off the perch I was near super-glued to.

When the straw came that broke this camel’s back, it really surprised me. I thought this man would at least try to resolve the issue, but he didn’t. Slowly it dawned on me that even if I tried to explain it would all just be swept away as if it was nothing.

So I protectively held onto my anger. I’d never felt anything like it. It rolled through my body like a storm, over & over & over again. I felt so powerful & alive. I even had a little ‘swearing corner’ in the warehouse where I would go.  I held & flowed with that energy like the life-saving storm that it was. I did my job, but withdrew all the ‘nutrition’ that I had poured out from myself for free for so long.

My anger got me fired. Or more accurately slyly & skillfully manouvered out.

I think though that, on some level, it saved my life.

I simply had no energy left, that man had become like a vampire to me. Two wild birds got trapped & died in that place around that time. It felt like a warning.

Since then the anger has returned on a number of occasions. At first it still took the equivalent of a crowbar to pry it out of me, but I have gotten better with practice.

I used to take every nastiness & then turn it around & around to make it right or explainable. I have squeezed myself into the most awful binds rather than experience this feeling.

Now I’d say I’ve got perhaps, an orange belt in anger. And the practice continues..

Please re-read those last extracts – if you understand that, correctly experiencedanger is relaxation, why would you fear it?

What does it have to offer your life & your health?

What does shutting off of it do to your body & your future?

Excessive emotional involvement with a parent, a lack of psychological independence, and overwhelming need for love and affection, and the inability to feel or express anger have long been identified by medical observers as possible factors in the natural development of the disease [Multiple sclerosis]. A study in 1958 found that in nearly 90 per cent of cases, “before the onset of symptoms … patients experienced traumatic life events that had threatened their ‘security system.

No” is the child of anger.

Why is ‘no‘ one of the first words children learn
& why do they practice it so often?

We have been made to believe that children must be weaned or forced away from this power word, when in reality it is vital to their development. Of course if raising children was all about parents instead of children,  then ‘No’ would simply ‘have to go’…

No is how we create boundaries. Without boundaries we can be ‘fucked’ by anyone & we will never be safe:

Boundaries are learned in our formative years … why did you have to learn boundaries later, the hard way?”
“I knew boundaries, but my mother did not – her inability to recognize where she ended and I began

The blurring of psychological boundaries during childhood becomes a significant physiological stress in the adult. There are ongoing negative effects on the body’s hormonal and immune systems

Without a clear boundary between himself and his parent, the child remains enmeshed in that relationship. That enmeshment is later a template for his ways of connecting to the rest of the world

If there is one lesson to draw from  … all the studies we have considered in this book, it is that people suffer when their boundaries are blurred

This post has been an extension of my article on the spine & on the power of the NO. It came because of an extraordinary sync. I wish you well in your journeys, in the creation of your boundaries & the awesomeness of anger experienced within your body.

Anger is the energy Mother Nature gives us as little kids to stand forward on our own behalf and say I matter

I’ve learned to say no – I say it all the time, I want to live! I think saying no plays a big part in getting better

~  ~  ~

Text in this colour form When the Body Says No ~ Gabor Mate

August 14, 2013. Uncategorized.


  1. shabsoasis replied:

    Wow wow wow!!! I wish the people I needed to read this would have the patience to read this. Alex, you are always so right on time for me it’s insane.

    I am currently staying place to place…often in my car. I made the mistake of moving in with an artist and a singer, who by her own standards is some sort of spiritual guru, but from anyone looking at her from the outside, she is just a very angry woman who lashes out at everyone around her.

    I am currently in my car because she continued to attack me daily over that fact that I am ‘too angry!’ I tried with all my might to explain that this new age shit about, ‘Stay positive. Let it go. Live with unconditional love, and you won’t feel any anger…’, well, that just does not cut it. In Hinduism it is suggested that we view, feel, and then burn through our emotions to keep us on path. And that’s an idea I’ve always resonated with, and try to practice.

    What she doesn’t realize that in her form of ‘non-anger’ she is shrill with repressed frustrations. In the olden days they would have locked her up. So I left. Currently I am on be hunt for new digs, where I can live alone, and rage about the government, media, or whatever the hell I want to because I refuse to eat how I feel for anyone anymore. Especially when I know my anger is the only thing that kept me safe as a young alternative black woman in America. I can’t explain how many times screaming saved me from Lord knows what.

    One of my favorite albums of all time is Four Calendar Cafe by The Cocteau Twins. The singer was writing after a nervous breakdown, and I often have to read the lyrics to understand them all.

    There was one song whose words I’ve been able to understand for the last 20 years, and I promise you it’s kept me alive.

    Reach and you won’t lose me
    Destroy the objective,
    But still survive
    You are angry, and that’s okay.

    I am not afraid of your anger.
    What do you need?
    What do you want?
    I love you and I know that
    You can figure it out


    • chiller replied:

      As for your situation i hope this song might be inspirational as it has been for me for many years :


      • shabsoasis replied:

        Wow! Thank you Chiller…that was perfect and beautiful and a great start to my morning. Is that you singing?! Gorgeous.

        I’m learning to love more day by day and I think that is essentially why I have gone to such extremes. I feel like I’m the most grateful I’ve ever been, and this is a humbling experience. It’s getting old, but I recognize the inherent ways in which I need to change, and it just comes down to letting go of fear, and being very present.

        Thanks again!


    • chiller replied:

      You wrote about ”unconditional love” thats a difficult concept for me. :
      it can be used against you by predatory types.:

      nowadays i have love for people who are in the frequencies in wich they do not need to predate and be a psychic vampire . i can still have love for the child in the people who have become monstrous, but for them it is conditional love.

      i once wrote something about the difficulties in dealing with people. :

      to Reflect or to Shine ?

      Sometimes you dont believe what you see,
      The warm Mist in your Mind confuses me,

      What looks joyful might be a charade,
      with tears buried deep behind the face,

      What looks insane might be brilliant,
      you just cant see with your darkened vision,

      And what looks like love might be empty,
      like a balloon deflating spontaneously,

      And the choice has to be made again,
      what do you trust and what not my friend,

      What will be your reaction,
      to somebody else’s action,

      Will you crawl inside your shell,
      feeling weak needing outside help,

      Will you act in anger created by fear,
      destroying your energy while losing your tears,

      Or will you Just Reflect someone else,
      Acting out their outer skin,
      Feelin safe in a state of mental Hell,

      Is there another choice in this wicked world ?
      To be feelin more then inner cold ?

      To Shine might be Sublime,
      Living from higher state of Mind,

      But trouble is still for you to find,
      evil spirits make you Cry,
      Will feed off your inner Light.

      dont know the answer to this dream,
      but i try to Shine and Reflect,

      To feel Alive And still be perplexed….



  2. Stephanie cordelia butler replied:

    Thank you, so timely this article was and synchronistic for me in many ways. I also enjoyed the above comment.


    • shabsoasis replied:

      Ahhh! Thank you!!!


      • chiller replied:

        No it was not me singing , i wish i could sing and play music at all.
        plus i’m a dude :)

        I read your comment and the troubles you are in, and i have found that even or especially some of the people who grow on you are not always beneficial, it pays off to take time now and then to go back to yourself so you dont lose yourself.

        And indee, if you’re not happy somewhere, it can never be called a home , just a house.

        Cool that you liked the song !


  3. libyansibyl44 replied:

    Lots of female finger syncs this month. Remember the news story about the guy breaking the finger off the Virgin Mary statue in the Italian museum? – http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-2385591/Patrick-Broderick-The-American-SURGEON-accidentally-snapped-finger-600-year-old-marble-statue-Florence-museum-youd-thought-hed-better-hands.html

    The new movie “2 Guns” also emphasizes on the lead actresses’ finger (her fingers were previously severed in the 2006 film “Deja Vu”).


  4. alex robinson replied:

    Hmmm … an all-female line-up in comments – that’s never happened before :)

    Hello shabsoasis, I am sorry for the inhumanity of your current position – one thing I keep finding is that my life echoes & re-echoes my childhood – it can be ‘poetically fucked’ but the clarity is pretty damn clear now that I am paying close attention.
    It sounds to me like you never had a home – that is something that I think people who brave this work, are going to discover. That said I think that in the future many of us are going to go on to create our first ever home.

    I wish you ferociously healing anger

    Hi Stephanie, thanks for that & thank you for giving your support to shabsoasis.

    Hi libyansibyl, that is very interesting. Ah yes I remember that revolting severed finger assault in deja vu – why is it so easy to be revolted & then dismiss high weirdness?
    Your comment reminds me of the NZ movie, The Piano, where Holly Hunter gets her finger lopped off by Sam Neil. The memory of the movie pivots around that.
    Thanks for inspiring more thought

    very best to you


    • shabsoasis replied:

      What’s crazy is that I ‘had it better’ than so many other kids, but I still feel everyday that I can’t wait to have a real home.


      • alex robinson replied:

        go with your feelings, rather than comparing your ‘remembered’ history – I’ll bet many of those who had it ‘better’ than you are doing not too bad while you are living out of a car. Alice Miller points out that as children we always make the trauma & pain smaller than it really is, so we can survive. I need only read your comment to see soul-shattering isolation & aloneness – you are ‘poetically’ living out your past right now. You don’t need to do that any more my friend. None of us do.


  5. Kitty replied:

    Love this post Alex! Brings so much together.
    I went back and read the related post, enjoyed it even more this time.

    What you say about illness rings true to me. I’ve always noticed how people’s illness is related to how they feel emotionally (and felt very guilty for noticing!). The last seven years have been traumatic for me (getting better) and in that time my entire face has peeled layer after layer of skin. It’s just about done now. In that time I’ve learned to direct my anger at people/institutions that cause pain for me and those I love. I use to express my anger by being a political “progressive” (groupie). I’m speaking more from my own experience now.

    Also, in regard to the back. I’ve always feel the truth (intuition) of a situation in the lowest part of the back of my head, the area right above the neck line. I use to think that was weird and denied it, now I pay attention!


    • alex robinson replied:

      Thanks Kitty
      It is good to hear that you have made that link between disease and story. There is an excellent book on the topic called Meaning-FULL Disease by Brian Broom (a NZ’er ). Once you can allow that diseases ‘speak’ you can begin the process of ‘hearing’. But then our whole lives are a ‘story’ of our ‘first story’ (in the beginning), if only we would listen.

      That’s interesting about where you feel intuition – surely ‘denial’ is the root of all ill.

      very best to you


  6. chiller replied:

    A little something i wrote a few years back , communications from my Deeper Self.

    Accusations Against Mankind

    You disable your children
    You abuse your children
    You mindcontrol your children

    You traumatize your children
    You neglect your children
    You miseducate your children

    You leave your children
    You despize your children
    You sell your children

    You slave your children
    You emotionally scar them for life
    You put fear in ther hearts instead of love

    You kill their spirit

    But you are just you
    Sad thing you have been abused yourselfes
    You felt too weak to break free
    So i cry for you as well

    I know in your hearts you did not want this world
    A soulless world filled with soulles people
    Crying for freedom but living in slavery

    Crying is the first step
    Being your emotions you redeem yourselves
    and behold

    Your Spirit comes to your aid
    You stop being a slave
    Your soul starts to shine bright from
    The inside out

    Finally acknowledging who you truly are
    Reaching out of your shell of trauma
    Flying freely again

    Understanding your predicament
    Feeling strong enough to leave
    The prison behind

    Landing on happy soil reconnecting to humanity
    To the precious youngs, the precious adults and the preciously aged of wisdom,

    Knowing the sacrifice of the plantspirits
    Because of love to creation
    They give us life, Oxygen, food, medicine,
    clothes and a roof over our heads,

    Even the animals play their natural role,
    We are the only ones behaving as psychotic fools,
    We dont need to hurt them,
    At the end we are hurting ourSelf



  7. chiller replied:

    Thank you Alex,

    i’v been riding the syncwaves lately as well, and the surfin is great !

    sometimes i get an urge to write things down,, and sometimes it comes out in a poem in a few minutes, it’s like my Right brain was able to override the leftbrain-prison and guide me .

    the same with drawing and claysculpturing , wich i really enjoy, it connects back to earth :)


  8. cynicalseeker replied:

    I used to have a hard time saying “no”. For me it had nothing to do with my childhood, it was from trying to apply the “Good Samaritan” teaching and have compassion for others. Most of the time it worked out ok, but there were mooch ers I had a hard time calling out because I felt so sorry for them. Some people I became friends with even though I didn’t really like them because I felt so bad no one else would want to be there friend.

    So I eventually learned to say “no” and it’s still hard – sometimes I can do it preemptively, without rage, but sometimes it’s a camel’s back sort of thing and the people won’t get the message without being dramatic about it.

    Which brings me to……I ended four long-term friendships in the past few years, including my ex-girlfriend with whom I was once deeply in love, and each time it was because I said no, because I didn’t want to do something they wanted me to do.

    I still get angry thinking about it, and these events are playing a part in my current mental /emotional /spiritual malaise.


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