too old to be moving at all times so I move through the lives of others.
It is intercellular work, this going from being to being. I love it.
It is my calling, my gift.
After giving over 20,000 massages, I discovered, while teaching at a massage school, that I was reading bodies. Unbeknownst to me, I had put together a system that brought insight to chronic issues. It is the concept of this system that if the person doesn’t know how to talk about or resolve an issue, the body will say it for them in the form of pain, illness, difficult relationships, addictions, accidents, or other significant issues. In my show, Bodies Unbound, I say:
The people who come to me for body readings show me the horrors their ancestors have endured:
- The persecution and slavery of blacks,
- The persecution and Holocaust of Jews,
- The cold, disembodied minds of Caucasians,
- The broken psyches of Native Americans,
- The caste system of India’s Indians,
- The cruelty and insanity of Africans,
- The aloofness of Asians,
- The religious intolerance of almost everyone.
None of us has escaped. We all have ancestors who need to be forgiven and cried for.
An African shaman I studied with told me, “Our ancestors need our tears and our strong emotions to get them to the spirit world. And by our gift of tears, we are drained of anger and grief and opened to the beauty of life.”
Knowing this, I grieved for my parents.
I forgave them everything.
In my Body Readings/Ancestor Work, I use the body as my guide. I observe how the feet fall when a person is lying down and the proportion of the stomach to the rest of the body. Are the shoulders rounded, protecting the heart; or are they thrown back, leaving the heart exposed and vulnerable?
All these aspects of the body are clues. Once I have determined which side of the lineage the trauma came through, I begin asking questions. “What have you wanted that you can’t seem to get, no matter how hard you try? What was your relationship like with your mother, your father? What were their parents like? What trait of your family would you least like passed down to your children?”
Answers come readily when these questions are asked. It is as if the spirit of a family wants to resolve these issues. It yearns to resolve the unresolved conflict that has kept the family chained to this plane of existence.
Malidoma Somé, the African shaman I mentioned above, said to me that when anyone in his tribe has a problem, they go out into the jungle and yell and scream and work themselves up into a tornado of emotions. They demand that their ancestors come back and resolve this issue, because really, it is the ancestor’s problem. If they had solved it, the person now with the issue wouldn’t have it. People in Malidoma’s tribe threaten the ancestor who passed this burden down to them. They say that if they don’t resolve this, they will take their bones off the ancestral shrine and feed them to the lions or bury them in some awful place.
I have worked with an all-black church in the slums of Brooklyn. Through the innovative thinking of their pastor, Johnny Ray Youngblood, these parishioners had come to know that they were continuing to pass the worst horrors of slavery down to their children.
I have worked with the children of Holocaust survivors whose parents had infused every cell of their bodies with fear and dread.
I have worked with alcoholics whose parents and grandparents were alcoholic – who abused their children with violence and neglect.
In this Ancestor Work, through inquiry, ritual, and forgiveness, people resolve the patterns of their lineages and can start living from the standpoint of individualized soul. When this is accomplished, a person moves one step further towards freedom and enlightenment.
The following article, published in Whole Life Times, further describes my work:
“I had my first ancestral reading from Cynthia and was blown away by the impact that it had on me. Even though I had been aware of the events in my life and the lives of my family that were impacting me, I had not yet cleared some of the core issues that were yet impairing progress of reaching my goals. Not only did the session with Cynthia shift my whole awareness of the past, it put into perspective the patterns that existed in my family history that created certain situations and how to clear those patterns so that they didn’t impact further generations. By the end of our work together, my soul felt about a thousand pounds lighter and I was actually excited about moving forward with projects I’d been working on, rather than feeling as though they were a chore. It has been about a month since the ancestral work and my entire mood, perspective and family energetic has been shifted. What powerful, life changing work this is!!!!!!!!!”Catherine Miller