Elyse Bowler, Anchorage, November 1, 2021


A Soul Retrieval Process

White Raven is a safe space to heal. All who come here are welcomed with open hearts and minds by other participants but most of all by our facilitators. We gather together as a collective to actively heal our own individual souls’ trauma using the Rapid Transformation Therapy (RTT) and other available techniques, mediums, activities and ceremonies.

*One of the possible activities is: Walk the circle

I felt incredibly activated/triggered by someone walking the circle in pain as they tried to process their thoughts of suicide with the rest of us surrounding them to witness, provide unconditional love, listen to their truth and speak ours to them. One of our fellow circle members shared their truth, “I can’t imagine living life without you in it.” A sudden familiar sharp pain jabbed my upper chest on the left side as my feelings intensified to the point of my entire body vibrating with anger. At first, I didn’t understand why those words cut me so deep but due to the intensity of this response I knew it was something important to explore. By the time we split off into our small group sessions for the day, I was still vibrating and fully ready to commit and surrender to the mat and my process. I was so ready I thought. As I lay on the mat with a weighted blanket and blind fold, I took deep breath after deep breath. Anger oozed out of me as I spoke aloud the words that triggered me in the large group.
I requested the plastic bat and boxing bag. I sat up and got to my knees, ready to release this anger. I needed to scream and hit back. To strike down those words echoing in my head and the pressure I felt from everyone. “FUCK YOU!” I screamed and screamed as each blow struck the bag positioned at my knees by the facilitator and supported by fellow witnesses. I was talking to my body and endless chronic pain. My heart ached as I shared this angry truth aloud to my body, feeling deceived by it and no one understanding what it feels like to be here in this body. Feeling relief, I laid back down on the mat. Deep breath after deep breath I attempted to drop in. Perhaps it was my body trying to protect me. Protect me from the pain I felt and the guilt I felt for hating my body. “I do love my body deep down and I know how much it has done for me just to be here. I know I am grateful to be here but such a big part of me wants the pain to go away.” I discovered I kept holding my breath instead of staying in my body which was making it impossible to drop in. My facilitator and I decided to try a guided journey approach. She asked me where I wanted to go on a walkabout. I took a deep breath in and breathed out, “The beach.” As she guided me she asked me to imagine and describe out loud what my surroundings looked and smelled like, or if I heard or felt anything.
Suddenly in my mind’s eye I not only see but feel my toes enjoying an exfoliating massage as I stroll a warm sandy beach. With each heel- to-toe step and deep breath in and out, I drop in a little deeper. Finally, I feel in my body. I hear the calm ripple like waves to my left where the sun starts to set. Right then, that all too familiar excruciating pain pierces through my chest on the left side near my collarbone and feels as if it goes all the way through to my back. I shout “Owe!! OOOOF, OUUUCH! IT HURTS!” In tears, I call out for support. I needed someone to physically push really hard on this emotional spear spot from the back and my facilitator to do the same from the front. With some relief I lay back down on the mat, ready to surrender again. It was much easier to stay in my body and drop in this time around. All ten toes are now being tucked in by a gentle rush of water. Everything seemed so calm except for the intense anger and unknown fear I was battling inside. I thought it was my fear of water but as I submerged deeper and deeper I became more aware of what I was about to do. The anger boiled over as I repeated out loud the words that have constantly been said to me, pleading me not to leave this planet for them. For my family. For my friends. For my partner. For everyone… everyone but myself. “You’re so selfish!” I screamed through my sobs. “WHAT THE FUCK ABOUT ME!!!? No one even thinks about how much it hurts ME to stay here. Feeling deceived by my own body with chronic pain, every single day.” My left ear burns and throbs as a realization dawns on me. I was here to drown myself, and the fear was facing the fact that this was a way to escape the excruciating pain and maybe even receive a different body. The left side of my chest stabbed again and a sharp pain shot from the tip of my nose up to my brows. With that, one of my most vivid past life memories resurfaced again. I saw the same image of me sinking with heavy stones on my chest and bound wrists. Sinking with a peaceful smile of relief. I had originally thought I was stabbed in the chest, bound and tossed into the water at a witch trial. In this moment I saw a new vision. It was me… Me stabbing myself and me choosing to drown. Crocodile tears streamed and dribbled down my face. It hurt to know that I am the one who keeps hurting myself. It’s a pattern. I felt as if this wasn’t the first time and I knew that right then, in this ocean, on this guided journey, I was about to do it again. I wanted to be free of the pain so badly but more than that I was tired of staying alive for the sake of everyone else.
I closed my eyes and waded further into the water. The ocean is now right under my eyes. As the facilitator asks me what I’m feeling, seeing or doing, I respond with “the water is above my ears and it doesn’t hurt or cause fear. WOW! That’s a really big deal for me. Fear and pain have been constant companions for my reluctant showering and wishful peaceful swimming”. With this absence of fear, I gathered my courage and fully submerged. It was dark but I trusted myself to dive down as far as I could. I swam so far down that I nearly bumped right into the ocean floor. It’s right then that a beautiful white shell, directly below me, catches my eye. I pick it up and turn it over in my palm. On the other side I see a glowing figure curled up. I double take and blink to reassure myself that I see what I think I see. Little eyeballs flutter open as if for the very first time and lock eyes with mine. I hear my own voice coming from this small being. Her melodic wisdom sends an immense feeling of gratitude and sincerity rippling through my entire being starting with my heart center. “It’s me inside the shell.” I say aloud. Perhaps a different version of me or maybe another soul piece I’ve lost along the way has finally been found and wants to return home. I felt giddy, tingly. I felt like dancing! I felt like singing! The shell and I together, did just that. Twirling and swirling like a gentle charged hurricane, I cradled the shell close to my heart. Suddenly, I feel free of any and all pain. I begin to sing and flip around some more. That’s when I noticed I was so agile under water because I no longer had legs, but instead a tail. It’s strange because in the moment it didn’t feel strange at all. It all made sense. As a small child I knew I was a mermaid or some type of water witch. The memory of bursting my ear drum in a pool flashed. My safe space under water was no longer. With this deep loss, I only knew intense pain. I began to avoid water, denying that part of me. Now as an adult I have finally found this forgotten part of myself. Down here in the depths of the ocean. With great empathy and hope, I ask my shell self if I’d like to stay down here or have the courage to swim back up to the surface and break this pattern. I chose to break the pattern and my shell self chose to come with me. I placed the shell back to my heart center as it began to meld, seeping into my cells. “Welcome home, you belong here within me, I love you my soul.” I whispered aloud. As I swam closer to the surface my legs started to take shape and my tail faded. I surfaced for a breath. My eyes fluttering open, as if for the first time, I felt relief and comfort as I walked out of the water with a new sun high in the sky, warming the droplets on my skin. I visualized myself disappearing into the sunlight, sated with a feeling of unconditional love, understanding and gratitude.
I bring myself back to reality by focusing on my physical body, which is still here laying on the mat, tucked in with a weighted blanket and blindfolded. I rub my hands together and raise them up to the universe with thanks and place them onto my body. My left hand to my heart center and my right to my emotional spear, I whisper, “I am my love”. Soft relaxed breaths in and out, I rest my soul and body. My wonderful facilitator states the fact, “Yes, Elyse, you are your love.” I ever so slowly pull off the blindfold and check in and thank those who witnessed for their support and unconditional love.

An enormous shout out to my White Raven family. This work and community has changed my life in countless ways. Thank you and I love you!

Recent Posts