Life, Death and Figure 8s
I walked down the corridor and the smell of sickness and industrial cleaners permeated the air. My nose and lungs were resisting it. Turning to the left and then left again and then, even before I took the final right into her room I could hear the heavy, rasping sound of her breathing. I walked to her bedside and looked at the tiny woman who only a couple of months ago was outside going for a walk exclaiming at the birds high in the trees and how lovely the summer day was.
Now she lay crumpled up in a small, boney swirl under the food stained blankets it was obvious someone had been helping her to eat…. hoping she would eat.
The tube going around her nose had to be uncomfortable but, she was not aware enough to be able to adjust it. She was all consumed with breathing. Each breath rattled through her being struggling to make it’s way through her withering body. Her body was so strong to keep up the heroic task of breathing. I was told she had only twenty four hours to live.
I gently traced figure 8s just above her body. Slowly, lovingly tracing the ancient pattern that is so soothing to all living creatures. After a few minutes she heaved a deep sigh and wet her parched lips, the breath flowed a little more easily. I traced her meridians along her body and again she sighed and the breath became a little easier still. I held the bottoms of her feet at the “Wellspring of Life” points to help keep the energy in her body and again the breath became more fluid as the rattling and grasping for air gradually subsided.
At one point as I worked I looked at her and thought it was less than two years ago that I had seen her and her husband getting into their car and drive off both laughing and enjoying their days. Her husband had passed away the following spring. Now with not much left of her, she was soon to follow him. All her possessions were far removed from her thoughts and her lands meant nothing. All she had now was a life well lived and the her loving descendants and all their memories of her making them peanut butter and apple sandwiches in the front of the car and passing them over the seat to them in the back while they were on family road trips.
I suddenly caught my breath for a moment when I realized that no matter how I might like to run from it that I was roughly half her age and I saw my years ahead of me suddenly more finite than I had ever imagined. There was a part of me that felt panic. I made all sorts of pacts with myself I must do more yoga and exercise but, mostly I must live and love well. I too, needed to relax my breathing and allow myself to be in the presence of death and not run and hide. Some native tribes practice letting go on a daily basis so that when the time comes death is more like an old friend and not one to be feared. I eased the grip of fear and the figure 8 pattern which I kept doing in her field, calmed us both. I was grateful that she had helped me to breath around death more easily and I laughed at myself that I had thought I had come to help her but, in truth we had both helped each other on our journeys.
By the time I left, her breathing was calm and easy and there was no longer any struggle. At one point she came to, looked at me and sweetly said “..my, you look lovely in that..” and then drifted off again. I can not say if it was the energy work that sustained her but she did not die that day.
This is a simple Energy Medicine technique that anyone can use for someone they wish to help. We all have this ability to move energy. The most important part is to completely be with the person and feel reverence for their energy field. Then, very simply trace large or small figure 8s a few inches above their body and be present to the movement and all that you sense. One of the things you may start to feel is a cocoon of energy forming around the person. They will often feel it as well. The figure 8s help to energetically remove blocks and this re-polarizes the body which in turn helps to promote healing and well-being. Trust yourself. Tracing figure 8s over someone is a wonderful way to just be with another person.