|Posted on February 5, 2019 at 10:20 AM|
What a delight. Thanks to everyone who chimed in on this. (*scroll to the bottom for my original post! read the story first - it will be more fun that way.)
I heard from seven people, which is a lovely size for this type of conversation in person – and considering my current Instagram reach is not half bad for a first online go
First, a little more about what I'm doing with #mythologicalacupuncture and #thestorypoints
“Mythological Acupuncture” is a phrase coined by Michael Meade. As many of you know, Michael's work with storytelling, group dialogue, and ritual is truly profound. He is quite familiar with acupuncture and traditional Chinese medicine too (he's full of surprises), familiar with the potent shifts that can happen by being “stuck” in a certain point.
Similarly potent insights happen when we share what part of a story strikes us, because, Michael says, the story sticks us right where we need to be stuck! It “sticks” us for healing and growth, as though the myth itself is performing acupuncture.
#thestorypoints is my way of saying it – there are points in the story as well as points in us that the story touches, and the story points us where we need to look.
Running with the acupuncture and Chinese medicine frame of reference (I mean, that's how I run), I'll explore how The Dream House struck a small group on February 4, 2019, in terms of the Five Phases (aka Five Elements).
In The Dream House, these were the points that were shared with me:
- “her family thought of her house visits as a joke, but she was doing something real”
- “her persistent knowing of and trust in her own experience, even when others didn't trust her. And the fruition that came of it”
- For someone who interpreted the story as revealing that the woman had died and she was in fact a ghost, “the sweetness of the fact that she still returned to her family every morning”
- “the agent insinuates that it was her haunting the house, as opposed to the house haunting her dream. The agent saw her haunting as devaluing the house, while to her, the house haunting her dreams brought her joy”
- “to me her ability to visit her future house in her dream-form (or whatever it was) is magical and mysterious, and it seems sad that it scared people away, but I also see how that helped make the house available for her”
- “how did the agent recognize her as the one who had been visiting/haunting? Had he seen the 'ghost' or heard her described?”
- “maybe we are all inadvertently haunting each other”
Each point we noticed resonates with one of the Five Phases, as though the mention of it rings the "bell" of that Phase. In this list, there are several "rings" of the Metal bell. The web of Metal associations includes breathing, bowel elimination, skin health, discernment, judgmentalness, evaluating / assigning value, grief, singing ("the radiance of sound and light"), and recognizing beauty. (Partial list!)
If you were struck by the "value" of the house, or the woman's family not recognizing the truth of her experience (even judging it as laughable), discernment as to whether the "ghost" was dangerous or benevolent, I might invite you to consider what's happening in your body, mind, or life related to the Metal themes above.
If you're here because you're into women's health, fertility, and hormonal balance, it might interest you to know that hormonal skin issues (like the "Damp Heat" of premenstrual acne) can related to the Large Intestine imbalance (the Yang Metal organ).
I'd also invite you to slip deeper into your response to the story and ask, how would you have looked at the value of the house, if you were the agent? The neighbors? The woman? The husband? Would you have believed her, if you were in the woman's family?
Before I move on to the other big Phase for this story (Fire), I want to take a second to say that exploring where a story points you is NOT in any way diagnostic. It's a way of seeing where our attention is drawn, and checking out what that might mean for us personally. Nobody else knows why you were struck by something, any more than they know what your dream means. In this work, only your own feeling of "aha, that's it" (thank you, Jeremy Taylor) can tell you that it's true.
Okay, on to Fire. Of the Five Phases, Metal and Fire were the main bells I heard ringing in these responses. “Fruition” is a Fire word – think fruit. The Fire Phase can also be called the Summer phase. It's the season of flourishing, before Autumn (Metal) arrives and the leaves begin to change, becoming more poignantly radiant for a moment, and then fall away.
The Fire element includes our connections as well, to loved ones (the woman and her family), to a sense of spirit, to community. I see the comment, “maybe we are all inadvertently haunting each other” as a “fiery” reflection. Not only because of the interconnectedness in that idea, but because consciousness and the light of awareness are also Fire aspects – so if we are “inadvertently” haunting each other, does that speak to a lack of conscious awareness? Maybe conscious awareness of some sort of spirit-aspect?
One last Five Phase note. Being struck by “her persistent knowing of and trust in her own experience, even when others didn't trust her” rings the bell of Earth, too, because trust and integrity are very much healthy aspects of Earth.
Noticing where we were struck, feeling into how that might relate to us, an intriguing next step could be to explore acupressure points on the Metal and Fire channels of our own bodies: Lung, Large Intestine, Pericardium, San Jiao (Triple Warmer), Heart, and Small Intestine. Those points, too, have physical, mental and emotional relevance. That, though, I will leave for another day.
Thank you, again, everyone who joined in this #thestorypoints exploration with me! I just love this stuff. More to come! For now, here's to your radiance and connection.
My original Instagram post:
Want to hear a story? Gather round <3 Please share with me what part of this #folktale retelling strikes you -- share a part that moves you, that you love or dislike, or that just stands out to you.
Comment, or stay anonymous to the group and send me a DM. Come back tomorrow! Inspired by all of you, I'll share a community response.
If you're wondering how this relates to #fertilityawareness, #holistichealth, #acupressure, or anything else I talk about - dive in with me, and let's find out
I adore working with stories and dreams, letting them point us where we need to look. With gratitude to Michael Meade (who coined the phrase #mythologicalacupuncture), Jeremy Taylor, and all the storytellers and dreamers before and since, I offer you The Dream House:
The Dream House
adapted from a traditional Irish story
A woman told her family one morning, “I have been to the most wonderful house. A house just right in every way. Not too big, not too small, lovely windows, beautiful cabinets and drapery. There is a cozy living room for entertaining, a library and a room for music. Passing through a glass door there, a most beautiful garden.” She had described the house in great detail by them time everyone finished breakfast.
The next day, and on many days afterward, she would dreamily, delightedly tell them in the mornings that she had just spent hours in her house. It became a joke among the family to ask her when she woke, “Are you just back from your house?”
A few years passed, and the woman's children grew old enough to leave the family home and move to the nearest big city, beginning new chapters of their own lives. That same year, times turned harder in the town they had long called home. More than one neighbor's home was broken into and robbed. The woman and her husband decided it was time to move, perhaps a little closer to the thriving city where their children now were.
They called an agent, who helped them look at several homes that might suit them. When they came to the third, the woman's heart leapt in her chest and she exclaimed, “This is my house!” The agent led them through the living room, the kitchen, the bedrooms, the library, the music room, and the garden she had seen so many nights. They came to a door upstairs, leading out onto a small balcony. “This door is not in my house,” the woman said, perplexed. “Your house?” asked the agent. “I don't know about your house. This door has been in THIS house for about six weeks.”
The woman's husband, seeing for the first time the house he'd only imagined, had to agree that it was just right in every way. When the two of them learned how low the asking price was, they were surprised, and seized the opportunity to buy. After the house was theirs, they went back to the agent one more time. “Why,” the woman wanted to find out, “was so little asked for this house? Is there something we should have asked before, something we should know?”
“Well,” said the agent, “now that you've bought it there will be no harm telling you. Everyone says that house has been haunted for years. But I don't think you need to worry, because you are the ghost!”