A Story About Green Beans

Around this time last year, I sat across from my grandmother and mother at a french restaurant in Florida. We’re french, so there’s a certain cellular familiarity when we go there and break fresh bread slathered in butter.

The conversation moved lightly from weather to beach weather to beach activities and finally to food. Of course. My grandmother shared a story about herself as a child. She was with her family at a friend’s house. At dinnertime, they served tender, perfect green beans from their garden. My grandmother wanted a second helping. Her mother (my great grandmother) turned to her and said, “don’t ever ask for more”.

That phrase struck a cord, reverberating along a false truth through the center of me and back, back, back into the lineage of our family. I followed the reverberation, realizing in one heavy moment that every woman in my family was living that phrase in her own way, bent or contorted or atrophied or embittered or enslaved by that lie.

I reeled, as if the wind had been knocked out of me.

I had to command myself to breathe again, to return to the food in front of me and the women across from me, continuing our conversation.

Within the next hour, I had found my indignation and iron-willed resolve. That belief would end with me. I would not live it anymore.

Unlike some of the women in my family, I could do something about it. I could go in search of that wound and invite it to heal.

A few weeks after returning to my little studio apartment in New York, I saw the wound clearly in my mind’s eye. It stretched through time and space, an oozing and raw fissure through the landscape of my lineage. Parasites fed from it, spawning infection and rotting flesh.

Breathing and taking in the wound, I widened the scope of my internal attention to not only see it, but allow an action or direction to present itself.

In the same breath, an ancient and bespectacled version of Poseidon rose from an ocean beneath my feet. The first step was clear: salt water. He washed it over the wound. Parasites scuttled away. The rawness seemed to pop and burn at first, and then settle into a deep exhale.

My physical body responded with dropped shoulders, folding back into the pillows on my bed – exhausted. relieved. uncertain. A few minutes of breathing, watching ocean water foam through time, and I was able to sit up again, shakily ready for whatever was next.

The water ebbed away, leaving behind a gaping, but clean, pathway of pain. Water could flow anywhere, but I was just one person. What was I supposed to do? Spend hours or even days mending a millenia-long lie? Impossible.

The word ‘impossible’ ushered in a new kind of help. I was joined by the communion of saints. If you’ve never heard of them before, it’s a Catholic thing. The communion of saints are all the apostles, the mystics, the sainted ones that have gone before us and now move mountains and make jokes and celebrate our progress from other dimensions. They presented themselves to me once before on a foggy road the the middle of Yellowstone National Park, as a I drove alone, sobbing and scared, on a pilgrimage of sorts. They wrapped me in a million-layered hug that day.

This day, they poured in through doorways and centuries, chatting and laughing with each other like dear friends. Some acknowledged me, others simply got to work. Stitching, sewing, reshaping, cutting away, mending the wound before them.

When all of heaven responds to your need and descends on your life without a second thought, there are no words for that except Love.

I watched and waited, marveling at their tenderness and efficiency. I could feel energy shifting as their hands worked, growing brighter and stronger, richer and elastic, softer and sweeter. Everything about this was changing. I was changing.

A thousand breaths later and they vanished just as they arrived, without ceremony or fanfare. One last round of helpers – the animals and angels. They’re not really that different. Both pure and wise, with unearthly medicine for us.

The angels smoothed salve over stitches and made god-honey in all the empty spaces. The animals rested. Their purring warmth vibrating through swollen tissue and tired cells, calling every square inch back to life, to fullness, to highest purpose, to golden Hara Line destiny.

A second later I was laying on my bed, bathed in afternoon sun, with dried salt water on my cheeks and an impossibly whole heart.

This is how I heal. Whether its my own or a client’s, this is the process. For the unspoken and the unspeakable aspects of you that need to be held in the light, this is the process. Assembling a team, holding space for the work, honoring the process, making sense of what’s emerging, and softening, strengthening into the new. You can’t force it or fake it. You just have to show up willing to be helped, to heal. You have to trust your own perfect timing and your life’s undeniable desire for freedom and tenderness and love lavished through time and space.

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