In one of my trainings, I did a soul retrieval for myself following Alberto Villoldo's four chamber method. The results of this soul retrieval continue unfolding in my life. Below is the process I went through and some of the gifts that are showing up as a result.
Chamber of Wounds. You enter this chamber to witness the wounding. I watched my five year old self in an interaction that left her feeling abandoned, betrayed, terrified, and alone. And I saw how she created stories about herself, as a way of protection, that have been active in my psyche ever since then.
Chamber of Contracts. In this chamber, you find the contract that you made as a result of the wounding. Mine was written in bright red crayon and it said, "I will do anything. Please love me. Please don't leave me." I have played out this contract in every romantic relationship that I've had up to this point in my life. In this chamber, you can also rewrite the contract or bring it with you so that you can rework it once back in this reality. My spirit animal helped me burn the contract and I rewrote it before returning, "I can and will love and take care of myself."
Chamber of Grace. Here you find the lost soul part and invite it to return with you. I could hear mine before I saw her. Giggling, giggling, giggling in a garden. A blonde girl in pigtails, twirling and laughing. She told me it is okay to be messy, that I don't have to be so responsible, that it's fun to play, and that she loves being in her body (this is a big one because I have had body image issues for a long time). She willingly agreed to come back with me.
Chamber of Treasures. In the final chamber, there is a gift as a result of healing this wound. I found an antique hand-held mirror. It reminded me of one that my nanny used to have. I was told that there were a thousand meanings in this gift and that I would continue to receive them. Some of messages were: your beauty lies in your power, reflection-your internal world is reflected in the external world and vice versa, divination-like the scene from Beauty and the Beast where she uses the mirror to see her father.
A few weeks after this soul retrieval, I had a conversation with a friend about being seen and what that feels like. How we all have this desire to be seen for who we are and what a gift it is when someone else allows you to be and accepts you as you are. I spoke about how I tend to hide and let others take up space, then feel like I'm not noticed. And that I play a part in that scenario. I let fear take over and I shrink back. My work these days is to show up, take up space, and let others see the real me. With this soul part back, I'm able to do this more and more of the time.
I received the "divine download" that I talked about in the blog post Connected. I took on three new clients. I am having more conversations about the work that I do, even if it is foreign to many people. I'm letting go of worrying what other people think about me. I'm feeling grateful the majority of the time: watching the sun rise as I drive from Oakland back to San Diego and tearing up at the beauty of it all, going for a walk along the beach in the middle of the day, or taking an integration day for myself. I am so grateful that this is my life right now.
I found an antique-looking bronze mermaid hand-mirror that I keep on my altar. I try to look in it everyday and see myself as beautiful. And reflect on other meanings and messages that it might have for me.