You are Alive

by Cynthia Allen

Can you recall a time when you felt you were so damaged, so traumatized that you felt you were dead? Let’s add to that experience in a new way. Just as you begin to realize you might be alive and you feel there may be some tiny will to continue, someone very important to you whispers “You are alive. You are whole. All is well.”

When I first heard these words spoken to the fictional character of Roger, I experienced sadness tempered with loving sweetness. What if someone had said those words to me at those times when I felt life was somehow over? What a statement of clarity, of hope, of the future.

I must confess that I have fallen down the rabbit hole of the Outlander book series. I know, I know. This historical, time-travel drama/romance isn’t meant to stimulate deep thinking. Yet, there have been a few passages that I have felt some transmission of healing through these characters of Jamie and Claire as they navigate a constantly unpredictable world. I am currently on a theme of examining words that all of us need to hear or at least deserve to hear. I was raised when “I love you” simply wasn’t said. Or at least not in my family. I vividly remember the day I got up the courage to use these words to my mother over the telephone. Having moved several hundred miles away at the age of 18, I could no longer tolerate the silence created by those unspoken words. My mother, though hesitating, did give me the fresh, pure water I so needed. Some 30 years later, I also remember when my mother was dying. She was sad that she had never heard her own mother use those words. With my encouragement, she too took the risk. And my 80-something old grandmother, who had probably never said I love you in her entire life took only a fraction of seconds to echo them back. My mother was made whole in that moment, I think. What words do you need to hear that have never been spoken? And how can you place these words in your life? For me the experience of the Feldenkrais Method® is one way I can hear over and over: “You are alive. You are whole. All is well.” It awakens in me what Ruthy Alon calls Biological Optimism in her Movement Intelligence work. Back to the book. I felt the emotion that this fictional man, who was truly at death’s veil, who was sure he would never awake again, must have felt when he miraculously found his heart beating. Yes damaged and very disoriented. Yet, within that haze, he finds these phrases flowing through him. Later in the book series, the main character, Jaimie, uses this same word elixir when discovering his own wife has been repeatedly assaulted. No longer new words to me, I again found them life giving. May you sit with these words as I have been and let them dribble into the core of your being. You are alive. You are whole. All is well.
About the Author


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Cynthia is a certified Feldenkrais practitioner, a Senior Trainer in Movement Intelligence, and a co-creator of Integral Human Gait theory. By day, she helps children and adults find easier ways to navigate life challenges and thrive. By night, she is dreaming up new options for how we can all become more fully human through awareness, curiosity, elegance and action.