An exploration of the poetry of

What I experienced during a Breathwork, Sound & Vocal Toning Healing Journey

On Sunday I went to a sound healing session. I had booked it a while ago, and my week was so busy that I didn’t have the chance to review the information about what to expect. So in my head, it was a crystal bowls sound bath. I thought I would just be relaxing for a couple of hours.

But when I got there, it turned out to be a Breathwork, Sound & Vocal Toning Healing Journey. And the facilitators started talking about how the breathing we were doing would be activating our nervous systems. And that it could really trigger us into fight or flight. They said that sometimes people felt like running out of the room.

And when my nervous system was super dysregulated, I would have been terrified by just hearing that. I would have been so afraid of having a panic attack, I may have left before the session even began. I mean, going to a new place and being around people I didn’t know would have been scary enough.

But I have a much more regulated nervous system these days. So even though I had decreased my anxiety medication just over a week ago and was still in that weird place of overwhelm that a medication change tends to set off in me, I wasn’t too afraid to stick around.

Setting Intentions

My intentions were to receive Trust and release Rigidity

We were asked to set some intentions for what we wanted to receive and what release. And as I considered each intention, so many things swirled around in my head. But eventually one word for each stood out with clarity. Odd for me because I usually write so very much.

My intention for receiving was “trust” and for releasing it was “rigidity”. Once we set our intentions we began the breathwork.

As I did the breathwork I felt changes in my physiology that have set off panic attacks in the past. But I reminded myself that I was safe. And I allowed myself to let go of the need to control everything. And I was able to participate in the breathwork for the full thirteen minutes.  

Visions & Messages

You've built too many walls around you

And I began to get visions and messages. First I saw myself with brick walls surrounding me. And there were many layers of walls. And I heard “you’ve built too many walls around you”. Hearing that brought about some grief. I felt overcome with sadness. But then I wondered if I could add doors to those walls. And while I pondered what that would look like, I heard “if you can build doors, why not just disappear the walls altogether?”

And as the brick walls disappeared I saw serpents in their place. Many black snakes woven together, creating moving walls. I have had theses serpents in my visions before, and the message before was “from one great snake comes many”. But I wasn’t sure that was the message for this session. I continued to observe and then there were just two snakes. One white. One black. Spiralling around each other.

And the message came. And it was weird. It was a chant.

Awaken the Serpents

Awaken the serpents at the base of the belly. This is where your power lies. This is where you’ve denied the girl inside
Every single time.

The chant was “Awaken the serpents at the base of the belly”.

And I felt the kundalini energy in my lower chakras. And it rose, like it has before. But somehow it felt more controlled than kundalini energy I’ve had in the past. I wasn’t as overwhelmed by it. Maybe because I am a lot more grounded than I was a few years back when it happened.

I was able to enjoy the bliss of the energy moving up my spine and through the crown of my head.

But soon the chant began again. I could feel my lips moving along with it. And the light began to illuminate some of what was in the darkness. There were more phrases added to the chant.

“Awaken the serpents at the base of the belly.
This is where your power lies.
This is where you’ve denied the girl inside
Every single time.”

Boxed up Memories
By Jamie Hocking - 2002

Straining to see 
these boxed-up memories
that have been 
bleached clean 
and set aside

they sit on the shelf 
in neat little packages
and I can pretend 
that they are separate 
from me

From afar 
I was able to believe in their 
false purity

Deciding that they look 
almost too pretty 
to be disturbed

But it is the almost 
that is haunting me

Tiptoeing closer 
I watch the façade dissolve

I find myself caught 
between distortions
and reality

I could turn away 
and preserve this illusion

But I realize that 
I have denied the girl inside
so many times

Doesn’t she deserve this chance
to see herself with clarity?

“I’ve denied the girl inside so many times” is a line from one of my poems called Boxed Up Memories” written in 2002 (see above image from my journal).

And this phrase came up for me in a women’s circle a few months ago – I felt compelled to speak that line in the circle even though at the time I had no idea what poem it was from or what year.

So yes, it was somewhere in my subconscious that I have been denying ‘the girl inside’. But I would have to think about that later because I was getting more messages.

I got a message that I use the symbolism of the phoenix because that’s the part of me that I want to show people. That I am strong. That I can endure suffering. That I am willing to throw myself into the fire if that’s what it takes. That I endure all of this, and rise again and again. But I am willing to show this because I see it as heroic. Noble. Admirable.

I was told to lean into the other symbol that has been with me for longer than the phoenix (at least consciously). The serpent. I have been fascinated with snakes for a long time. I used to catch them as a child in Michigan where I didn’t have to worry about venomous snakes. I wanted to have one as a pet. I used to desperately want a snake ring when I was young – like one of the kinds that wraps around your finger. To the point that I stared at a classmate’s so much that she started a fight with me.

From one great snake comes many

From One Great Snake Comes Many

And as I’ve said there have been messages I’ve received about serpents and snakes. In 2018 at a winter solstice ceremony in America, I got the message “From one great snake comes many”.  And for a long time I wondered what the hell that was supposed to mean.

In that vision, the serpent appeared as a gigantic serpent, but when I came closer it was actually one giant serpent made up of innumerable small snakes. 

For a long time I took this to mean that the one great snake was my big karmic issue to overcome. Self worth. Or lack thereof. My inability to find worth in myself was made up of many smaller beliefs and experiences.

And I’ve done a lot of work healing a lot of traumas since I had that vision in 2018. I have much more self compassion and love than I ever have had. But I know that there are still some ‘snakes’ slithering around; unhealed traumas waiting for the opportunity to be brought into the light. And it seems like life presents me with those opportunities in divine timing. And I don’t fear them like I used to. I’ve been through the process enough times to know that it’s not going to kill me. To know that I may need to be more gentle with myself for a little while after. And to know that I can confront them with the support of my therapist or counsellor – or both. Sometimes it’s good to have some outside perspective as well as someone to hold the space for the release.

Seeing through the illusion

But this imagery of the serpents I got at this sound healing session was different. At first I saw all of those snakes making a wall. This time I saw through the illusion, and knew it was many, and not one great snake.

Then when I had the kundalini energy experience, I was experiencing the duality; the Ida and Pingala spiralling up my spine with beautiful euphoric energy.

But the last image of the serpent was just one black snake. I could see it on the floor of a forest. It was coiled up on the earth. And the message I was getting at that time was to be willing to show the parts of myself that I believe that other people don’t want to see. The parts that are dark. The parts that represent the girl inside that I deny. Perhaps this is where my power lies.

When I left the session I knew that it would take some time to process what I had learned. And it was another opportunity to see how I have changed. A few years ago, if that had happened I would have had to do everything I could to understand what it all meant. I would research. Open books. Visit websites. Find a new teacher.  

But this time, I have allowed more balance. I have kept on with my life and responsibilities instead of deep diving into ‘what does this all mean’ at the expense of everything else in my life. I have written a bit. I haven’t done any research yet. But somehow I keep having serpents crossing my awareness. Little reminders that when I am ready, I will experience what I need to experience in order to integrate the messages.