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August 22, 2014


Kathleen Westcott and Kristina Amelong have decided to share their healing journey in hopes that others may find their own healing. Of course, you know Kristina. To learn more about Kathleen, read her biography.

By Kathleen Westcott

Kristina and I met in a break-out group with the Thomas Hubel Transparent Communication teleconference series in February of 2014. There were meant to be three to four participants in these discussion groups; it turned out to be just the two of us. Our connection and resonance was immediate. We quickly stated our goals, reviewed our trauma history and proceeded to discover that we were a match in regard to listening and being heard by one another. Since that initial meeting, I have deepened my capacity to trust myself and others and my personal sense of self-regard has become effortlessly ferocious. I attribute this to the fact that in our exchanges, Kristina simply does not ever engage in interpreting, interrupting, analyzing, advising, correcting, or labeling. Kristina celebrates, with much aplomb, my own language and courage in speaking the truth! We have truly created a sanctuary space for one another in which we are held and respected; we do not violate or abandon each other in our conversations. The opportunity for taking risk, revealing myself and actually hearing myself, while listening deeply and while being listened to, feels unlimited.

This is the foundation that we established on the phone. Then just two weeks ago, we came together in person. Kristina traveled the distance from her home in Madison, Wisconsin to my home in the Arrowhead Region of Minnesota, the Boreal Forest. Kristina arrived Friday evening for dinner and departed Monday late morning for home. She drove eight hours each way!

Kristina resided in our tiny camper. In our kitchen, she unpacked an explosion of the healthiest food on the planet: fresh vegetables, kombucha, bacon, fresh blueberries, to which we added venison, more bacon, wild rice, frozen blueberries and raspberries, and much more! We were gluten-free, sugar-free, dairy-free with low carbs, and the best protein, for the whole of her visit.

Reading to each other, going for walks, preparing beautiful meals - this was our foundation, the container that held the movement of the Kind-Hearted Great Mystery as she moved through us, revealing herself through every manner of feeling, sensation, play of plant, light, water as rain, mist, and wild rushing river falls, color, smell AND technology! Not to mention the presence of my beloved grandson on all but one of the days.

Now I must tell you something, describe something to you, that is to me wondrous and blessed and the answer to a long-held question/inquiry for myself. Kristina and I go for a walk on her last morning here. It is an ordinary walk; we do not have a plan, an intention, a focus. We nearly return to the house, walking over a small railroad tie bridge that spans a trickle of a creek where the brush of red willow, high bush cranberry and alder hang dense and low to the water, creating a thin, cool surface just above the creek, where the light filtering through is dappled - as when light filters through a lace curtain. Quite suddenly Kristina becomes  aware of an insect that she sees clearly, and I am barely able to see.

"Have you ever seen this one? Look how delicate, how beautiful!"

She is drawn by this insect to leaves which are about shoulder-high, then leaves near her knees, then at the level of the bridge. Now she is on her knees, hanging over the bridge, her upper body suspended right there on the cool, light-filtered surface of the water as its slow trickle moves around large stones partially covered with moss.

"Look, there are so many! One, two, three, four, five, six..."

I walk away now, saying, ", eight, nine..." in my head and reflecting on the pristine quality of that cool, light-filtered surface, on that first delicate bug almost not visible except when its many feet touch the water and create shadow. And, I notice the intimacy of the insects' conversation with Kristina. This is between her and them. I am sure of this.

I want to call her dog to come with me, to leave them be - dogs are not allowed in ceremony spaces. I want to ask her not to take out her camera. Yet, I surrender these thoughts, knowing that to do so could disrupt Kristina's attention/awareness and possibly snap her into her logical mind. "Why?" About 20 feet closer to home, Kristina's little dog joins me! We walk home together. I just can't wait to hear her report when she returns from the creek and the insects.

In the days that follow, after Kristina makes that long drive back to her home, what happened at the creek begins to reveal itself to me. She e-mails to say that on a walk in a park the next day she discovers that her perception of the trees and plants has shifted - it is not as she has ever experienced them. I attribute this to the bug people and to those moments of her being suspended above the water in a manner similar to how the bug people live there. Then it begins to sink in. So obvious, yet not so obvious.

For an entire lifetime, it has been a mystery to me. Why is it that my grandfather decided to "work" with me and not his other grandchildren? (There were many.) Why did he tell me those stories, take me into the woods, teach me to listen to other life forms - plants, rocks, water, animals, birds? Why did he celebrate the most simple interests and curiosities that I had, value my dreams, listen deeply to my child chatter while I made mud pies and turned sticks and stones into full-blown creatures of nature? Here in those moments with Kristina, I witnessed the natural world CHOOSE her, call out to her. And I witnessed Kristina HEAR them, the bug people. She heard them. Not for one moment did she doubt what she heard. She moved toward them, dropped into her inherently innocent nature, joined them in their innocence, their wisdom, their uninhibited capacity to be fully who they are - suspended beauty, fully present.

This is one of the most endearing moments I have witnessed: creatures bathed in love, bathed in mutual regard, Kristina's acknowledgement of kinship, her acceptance, her trust of the unknown, her no-fear response, no hesitation; she moved with instant willingness and intuition to drop the activity of the mind and follow, join, merge.

So, you see, there is this profound gift of witnessing Kristina engaged with a spirit being, soul to soul, essential nature to essential nature. There is also the gift of realizing that this is likely what informed my grandfather, leading to his "working" with me. Most likely he witnessed my own porous nature, my capacity to receive, to be imprinted by the mystery as it is embodied in the natural world, to listen, to trust, to follow.

The unconditional opening of my heart toward Kristina, of her heart opening to the natural world through this delicate insect timelessly revealed the unconditional opening of my grandfather's heart to me at a time when I could not have felt more unworthy, more unlovable, isolated, fragmented; yet, precisely that timing and those circumstances rendered me accessible.

And here, in this delicate insect, is a power propelling itself to spin, silently and continuously whirling, wings colliding into one another yet never altering the flow of its flight. Catching Kristina's awareness of these insects, with their unfathomable silence combined with the living power of their wings then gathering, resting on water and rock, to appear as ordinary mosquitoes when not in flight. This subtle, aerodynamic vitality reaches into and catches Kristina's awareness, accessing her in her vulnerable emotional unraveling.

Surely this must be how it works, with masterful dexterity: the Kind-Hearted Great Mystery embodied in the natural world finds us through the openings created in our vulnerability, our woundedness. The magnetism of LOVE, the central principle of natural law, finds us.

On rare occasions, we are witnessed by another human, being found!

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