Maria Skinner

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Archive for September, 2012

Courting Freedom: Reflections on working with Lisa Jones

This is a companion piece to the guest blogging by Lisa Jones on my studio blog (scroll down when you get there) : Read this first, or read that first and I look forward to hearing from any of you that have been working with breathwork.
Breathwork took me by surprise.  I was drawn to working with Lisa Jones from an irrational place. Or maybe a place of Mystery. I did not know why but that I needed to work with her.  I had done some Holotropic related breathwork a few years back so I sort of knew what I was getting myself into. What I did not realize is how much a supportive, active breathwork practitioner could bring to the equation.  To be fair, I think this is also my time. My time to open up to more life, my time to release lifetimes of holding on to… As I do it with my body, my mind rebels, but so what. I am looking for freedom, pure and simple. And nothing will stop me, especially not me.
Resistance comes up each time I work with her. I think to myself that it is so much easier to stop, to quit, to stay where I am. It is such a metaphor for everything in my life. I am experiencing “comfort level” in a purely sensory way. And moving past it is not easy, and I would even nature to say not “natural”. Amazing that I can be accustomed to being shut down in certain places of my beings and experience that as natural. Normal, actually. And all those experiences that I look for to open me up, those seemingly rebellious actions that harm me more than liberate me (and often hurt those around me…) just so that I can have the fake experience of freedom!
This work, however, is the real thing. I am breaking through. I am breaking through my resistance. I am breathing into part of my body that have been closed to me for so long. I wake up in the morning and feel a fuller breath. And there is nothing more delicious than a full breath.
Doing this work with Lisa has totally changed my body and my relationship to the body-mind connection also. I have known and felt for a long time the relationship between my thoughts and my body, how thinking something could make me feel tense or sad or happy, or whatever. I could sense my mind limiting what I could experience in my body. However, I had not realized the relationship could have been just as powerful the other way around. What I found working with Lisa is that my body was affecting my mind. That stuck patterns in my body were leading my mind into certain loops so that I could feel the emotions that were stuck in me. This is the body wanting to heal itself for sure, however, not knowing this, I would actually believe the stories I was making up so that I could feel the body sensations that were familiar to me. This is where I have been breaking through. Now I am more aware of when the triggering is coming from this place, am able to take a deep breath into it before or instead of shutting down. I  see how the places I have broken through with the breathwork make it so that my body no longer goes to those places in the same way that my mind can change where it goes.
With this open space, I react to the world around me in new ways. More freedom. The more there is, the more there is.  Spiriting in my breath. How much better does dancing feel? Whoa!
Love and breathing into the next highest vibration,

Randomness or Synchronicity… Are we all the same being?

My sweet sister, Sylvia, just recently lost one of her dear cats after it was diagnosed with liver cancer. This cat traveled with her from Greenport, New York to Palm Coast, Florida where she now resides. Still in the midst of grieving, she sent me this story which took place in one of the kindergarten classes she has been substitute teaching for.  My mother, who was a teacher for most of her life before she retired a few years ago,  has been volunteering at the school where Syl is subbing as well, which you should know before you get to that part of the story where you could get confused… Read and be inspired!

If anyone is looking for a kick-ass elementary school teacher, you can contact Sylvia. Contact info below.

Dearest Soul Family,

My most heart felt prayer for having you all being part of my support team. My deepest gratitude for all of the wisdom you shared  with me, but most all sharing our  loves and our losses. I had this AMAZING experience that helped me break on through to the other side of the heart ache I was being tortured with. Sorry to have to send a mass mailing, but I want you all to have the full experience, not just fragments of what I remember whenever we next connect.
I sent you all picture of Amaya with her Ziggy. It was one of those incredible moments that the universe sent me to remind me of how true healing comes with helping….. Here’s the story in the moment as I remember it. First, for those of you who need more details. …..It’s morning Calendar time……9:30ish….. The Kindergarten class I have just gotten settled on their spots on the rug.
I’m asking, “What day is it today, raise your and wait to be called”.
Amaya…who is a sweet, quiet, and soft spoken…calls out loud…”My cat got out last night!”
Randomness is a given in life…I surrender to that….REALLY…Take the road of least resistance is the best advice I was ever given….If you take anything from this email…go with it! Seriously!
I knew that it was a big  moment,because the other kids got quiet. So, I went with it….
Me- Your cat got out? What’s your cat’s name?
Amaya- ZIGGY….. she  tears up even more..
Me- Cats are adventurous and curious……..
Amaya – Yeah…and he didn’t come  back! She starts to tear up fast! Like NIAGRA FALLS FAST!
Me –  Has your cat been outside before?
Amaya – No! She gets up and runs up to hug me bawling…..The kids are scary quiet….All you hear are painful sobs.
Me – How did he get out? I say, choking tears back…..I wasn’t very successful.
Amaya – The window……
Me – What? How did he get out the window? Was it open?
Amaya – He snuck out…
Me- Oh..that sneaky cat…sneaking out…….. making you all worried.
Amaya – My mommy too….
Me – Ziggy is just catting around, and enjoying an adventure. He will be home soon when he is done catting around.
Amaya – Mommy said he might get run over….
By the way….it upset me so much that she has that image in her 5 year old brain……That I blurt out…”Until there’s a body there is no proof”…. Which I seg-way in to…..Hey if I draw a picture of what he looks like….If he doesn’t come home tomorrow….. I will make copies and you can put them up with your mom to ask for help finding him….. She perked up!
The process of getting a description of Ziggy was priceless……. Here are the results….. Ziggy is brown with orange spots…..Get this…Mommy painted Ziggy’s nails purple…..She really said that. So for those of you with the tech…you can zoom in and see purple claws…..REALLY!!! Plus, he was skinny, young , and wore a pink and blue sparkly collar. I didn’t have sparkles, but I had blue and pink markers……you know …I’m on the fly…working what I can…..
Wait! Wait a sec….I left out a HUGE!!!! REALLY HUGE DETAIL!!!! My AWESOME ANTONIA MAMASITA is volunteering in the room with me. She is reading the rest of the class books while I have this conversation with Amaya about Ziggy. Which was so SWEET! I told her as I have been telling myself to love, and not lose that love in  missing….Love is stronger, so many of you have reminded me. Come from a place of strength…LOVE…THAT IS WHERE MIRACLES HAPPEN! That is where we can move mountains…….
Seeing her smile and cuddle the drawing gave me chills. Something so simple and drawn together brought us both such comfort and hope. She showed it off too at the end of the day. The other kids looked at it respectfully, and some shared their own stories of how they have lost loved ones…..Lucky for me…..No one had another moment, because I would have lost my shaaazit… It was brief, and awww…I am so sad for your loss, that is  part of life…So let’s bring it back to LOVE. I made it a point tell them all how much I loved them, and how they had to go home and tell everyone they loved…THAT THEY LOVED THEM!!!! Share it and spread it…..Watch me get a few notes in the planners on Monday…LOL!

This is the picture.

Yah..Monday is my last day there for the month. Tis life…..I am there again early OCT…..Which is nice to know…I am booked. Loves my Ms. K. and her K-crew.  Plus, Antonia is officially class mom again. She was a godsend last year in the 3rd grade, again in K-land. There was a lot of jealousy around her being with me. Other teachers wanted me to share her, but I wanted to protect her, because they just want people to do their grunt and paperwork. Mamasita Antonia is so beyond that…..The nurturing warmth and calm she radiates is a healing agent in the chaos of the public school system. Oh…and listen to this…THIS IS SO COOL! She wants to teach the kids yoga on Monday!!! No Shit! Remember baby G!? Plus, all of those who know from back in the day, that was my thing at HEAD START….. Anyway..I am out of the box and out of  Allison’s lesson plans…just in case administration comes in…..I told her…HELL YAH! During snack time, and we can carry the snack into Reading as long as we are working…..Still wanna get hired you know…….
Kitty Prayers To you all!!!!
You can contact Sylvia at: