A Drum Circle Journey: where the hell am I?

I stared at the elderly, and seemingly more prepared group sitting around the circle. The Native American artifacts bored at me from the walls. I glanced at one of my companions, his brightly decorated leggings. I looked back into the face of our host. Clearly I did not belong there.


Still, we progressed onward. Walking clockwise around the alter until my other friend politely asked if we could wedge into a corner. People shuffled around, not all of them looking happy about it, until we were snug as a bug in a rug. Except we were on a blanket and I was a little cold.

There was a talking stick. A huge group of people, a very odd assortment. It somehow made me feel less apprehensive. When it was my turn to talk I became a shade lighter than a tomato, even as I pushed the words out with practiced confidence. We lay down, lights out, reminding me of girl scout sleep overs – the special privilege of seeing a place in it’s most intimate state.

The drum began. My body spasmed like rolling earth in a quake. Eyelids twitched, thighs tensed, released -chest tensed, released – all tense, release. I felt the bass like a living beast around me. My ear ached, my forehead pulled. My mind rambled around like a bear until my body began to scream, let me out letmeoutletmeout! The drum stopped.

Everyone else spoke of beautiful visions. I saw nothing, I admitted. Heard nothing. Simply felt my body. Tried to turn my mind inward again and again. Our host spoke kindly of practicing mindful intention each day. I felt the knowing thoughts of those around me. It was okay, I determined, but we would see if it was my thing.

A few days later.

I experience the most absolute, satisfying sense of self acceptance I have ever tasted in my life. My yoga practice takes on a deeper meaning. Arguments are easy to manage. That intense sense of guilt I almost always carry melts off of me so easily. The voice that tells me I am okay is (for once) louder than the one that breaks me down.

I’m still not sure if it’s my thing. Was it the timing? Was it an unlocking? Either way I’ve come to one solid confidence in the last week. Absolutely nothing is wrong with me. I am perfect, exactly as I am. The phrase “don’t sweat the small stuff” seems manageable. I feel like a completely new person, while clearly, and happily, exactly the same. Maybe the energy of that room broke through some of my blocks. Maybe it’s all a placebo.

Did I mention what my one intention was?

To forgive.


I’ll be going back…

just to see.




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