Category Archives: Depth Psychology

Personal Story, Birth, and the Real Deal We Call Life

After years of writing my personal narrative, many deep, interwoven conversations, visual journaling, and performance…in less than a week…

I will say his name * meet him in-person * hold him in my arms.

January 23, 2017, on what would have been my mom’s 95th birthday, William called me. He told me how scared he was to leave a voice message asking me to call him. He asked me about his story, how he came to be.

Today I booked a flight to visit William in-person. Next week we will meet for the first time. He’s leaving the hospital after undergoing major surgery Monday evening. William’s cancer has moved from his skin, to his lungs, and now to his brain.

The phone rings and William says, They got it all.

He is hopeful and I am expectant once again.

The thing is, he is real to me now. For years, I have been using the phrase, my surrogate son. What a relief to be able to say his name, William, and know him as a person who loves to watch sports, wants to find work as a sports journalist, hike hundreds of trails.

Over the next few days, I will be gathering some of my journals, photos, and other treasures so that I can share them with William when we visit next week. Poems, memoir writing, research from my doctoral dissertation on surrogacy, performance-storytelling.

The first time we meet

Just making the reservations for my shuttle to the airport and flights was a struggle. Crying at the bank, at the pharmacy while trying to get through to the pharmacy clerk who is holding Michael’s medications post-stoke for ransom! Crying in the art studio while collaborating on a flyer for our fundraiser. I am tripping and almost fell yesterday because I have so much in my head and forgot about my feet. I keep reminding myself to ground. I’m wondering if I should rent a car but I am also concerned that I won’t be as focused as usual while driving the Los Angeles freeways.

Feeling the immediacy of the moment. I am grateful for the real deal, live life to the fullest!

I invite you to check in frequently here and on the Play=Peace blog.

Read the follow-up story Sit Back and Enjoy the Trip

Wonder, What is Hidden, What Will Emerge this Spring

When I climb to 5,242 feet, the wind reminds me about momentum and my desire to keep going…

the voices keep shouting their bad advice

I keep going. I know what I must do.

21 inches of new snow has fallen. My snowshoes sink deeply as I create a pathway through the subalpine firs. I stop frequently and am aware just how alive I feel in the midst of such

Beauty. Presence. Presents.

What happens when I have that sinking feeling that something isn’t right? I shut down or take a few awkward steps.

I am hungry and take a bite of nourishment. I am carrying burdens– a pack with necessary gear and stuff I lug around with me all the time. To what end? Can I give all of it to the trees who know so much about shedding when their limbs can no longer bear it?

All around me I hear communities of winged ones, four-leggeds who live under the snow, and insects.

The seekers. The survivors. The sensate.

I plop myself down while I snack. I feel closer, sheltered, grounded. I want to be part of, not separated from. The white all around me provides light. The air clears the way. Instead of wanting to push forward I want to

slow down and listen, deepen, connect with life.

I don’t have my journal or watercolors but I have my phone camera. I start to capture or 

I make an attempt to capture images, the moment, reverie, where I came from, where I am going, what my heart wants to sing, what my gut wants me to know.

So many have been here before me. I am surrounded by my ancestors. Not just two-legged. Ancestors come in many forms. They are all present. This place. I am here to understand and communicate. Dreaming comes easily here. I sink further into the deepening of who I am becoming and what I am called to offer.

In this moment, when I learn of the unwelcome news that Michael’s  P.E.T. scan shows another hot spot (cancer), that my spouse will need surgery–the icycles are hard and frozen. or so it seems. I breathe and remind myself that there is fluidity in all of life. Certainly I am a fluid being. I want to be fluid. The drops of water on my branches are in flow, a stream of consciousness, a river of life.

I am grateful for the inspiration of Hurricane Ridge, a mountainous area in the Olympic National Park, the poems of Mary Oliver, and my 25-year love and creative partner, Michael.

 

 

The Courage to Attend to Your Dreams and Act on Their Behalf

Do you acknowledge and act in response to your values?

Psyche calls you whether you are ready or not. Well before I feel ready, my night and waking dreams are offering me what I need to start + what I need to stay in a committed relationship with what I value most. Questions that run through my head are:
What is my intention?  What do I understand about my intention? Is my intention flexible? What is my level of commitment to what I intend to do? Will my commitment change over time?
My night dreams
are gifts. I store what I can of these gifts in my journals. My dreams help me in becoming who I am…and then who I am again…and again…and again…as I perform my life. I am eager to learn all I can about my individuation journey. There is so much I do not know as a woman, mother, nana, writer, playful spirit, and creator. I am open to travels that go way beyond what I know at this moment.
My waking dreams
in the form of day dreams, personal license plates that I might see on the road that strike a cord at a particular moment, graffiti painted on the wall of a building or under a bridge, a line from a page of a book opened at random–these waking dreams, when recognized as in-sight, are helpers as I walk down a variety of pathways which are sometimes easily traveled but most of the time have bumps, fits, and turns to maneuver.
My night and waking dreams are recorded in my journal. I looked back through my journals often and play with dreams that I received recently or many years ago. For me, there is no difference in whether I receive a dream day or night.
Dreams are the portal to the psyche and to the greater good for both myself and others.
Your dreams are calling you to recognize and live your values.
  •  What do you value?
  • What are your commitments and how do you honor them?
  • Are your intentions alive in your day-to-day life?

The Way to Live: Vulnerability

Vulnerability is our most accurate measurement of courage. ~Brene Brown

March 5th

my surrogate son’s 29th birthday. I’m en-couraged….

Photo Credit: Jen Adam

by recent research showing that mothers and their children carry each other’s cells throughout their lives. I haven’t seen my surrogate son since shortly after his birth. News of this research creates a feeling of connection that I can hold onto [alongside so many other birth mothers who haven’t been in touch with their children].

This same news also makes me feel more vulnerable somehow…

I’m pregnant and carrying this news but at the same time am no closer to knowing how he is, what his life has been like over the last 29 years.

Does he know our story and how he came to be?

Medium.Com

I’ll be posting parts of my memoir on medium.com

and continuing to perform and help others create their own Archival Memoir Project.
The Archival Memoir Project is a visionary project that encourages people of all ages to claim what is unique about their personal story – and then share their story with others in a variety of playful and creative ways.

My personal “archival memoir project” includes a written memoir, performances, collection of images, dreams, and letters inspired by the birth of my surrogate son in 1987. A series of dreams and meaningful connections led me to the realization that my memoir was not meant to be a solo performance. Instead, I realized I was being called to tend a play-based, archival memoir project that will help others share their own personal and collective stories to create meaning and purpose in the lives of many individuals and communities. 

My project includes written memoir, images, and performance. Another project might include film, visual art, and music. Yet another might include drawings, puppets and poetry. Another, a scientific research project, dance and coloring books. There are so many ways a life can be told … come and explore and discover YOUR STORY. and its POSTPARTUM [or what you learned as a result of your experience, collecting of treasures, life experience].

Listen on ‘Creativity in Play’ as I share more about the Archival Memoir Project and Active Dreaming.

Archival Memoir Project Performance
So  real, embodied, playful story telling. Archetypal made tangible. You make it clear that getting in touch with, and living from the heart is natural and simple…. though quite hidden, and perhaps scary for most modern people…..  And a sometimes struggle, ….but something which can be taught/discovered and shared together, playfully and creatively. 
 
Here is my bravo…. but the story is ongoing…..I now have a deeper understanding of how playfulness can be a medium of understanding…. for one thing it can help us deal with the “scaries” as it lets us interact with ourselves…. and there are many more.
~Betsy Wetzig, Allentown, PA
Interested in joining an ‘Archival Memoir Project’ Group and create your own AMP? or would you prefer a customized play retreat just-for-you?
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