Last September there was an auto strike in Pune that I did not know about. I had work in a congested part of town so I drove to SGS mall, parked in the basement, and walked out in search of an auto. I kept walking and about 20 minutes later found one auto willing to drive me to, but not back from, where I had to go. I walked an hour back to SGS, in shoes not meant for trekking on hard urban sidewalks. I developed a heel ache in my left foot that absolutely refused to go. It became a permanent feature of my body, this ache, more of an ache sometimes, less of an ache sometimes, quite permanent.
Age, I thought. A pot belly and heel ache. Pity. I love the mountains. Walking in the hills. Impossible. Some days it’s hard to get out of bed and put any weight on my left foot. The body did not like my walkathon.
Six months later, Prabha drafted me into guinea pigging for her work and study of some strange thing called the Emotion Code. I was to tell her a problem, she was to solve it by interacting with my subconscious mind and clearing away my blocked emotions. Apparently these blocked emotions were located in bits of my body. A little fear trapped here, a little anger suffocating there, a little lump of grief growing barnacles in a corner.
I told Prabha to fix my heel. Six months of pain, if she could fix that, I’d consider it concrete proof that my body held emotions and that emotions could be held, like little trapped bruises hiding from sight.
She did. Long distance. No Combiflam, no heat pad, no massage, no colour, no infrared lamp. She said she would do a session. The next day the pain shifted from 7 on the scale of pain in my head, to 3. It stayed that way. Came down to 2. In less than a week I had a heel that was my own, hike worthy, pain free.
Trapped emotions? The source of heel pain sparked by a walkathon?
So I asked her, how long was the session you did for me? Not very long, she said, perhaps twenty minutes.
That’s it? I asked. And how do you know how long it should be?
Do you really want to know? She laughed.
Yes, I insisted, I wanted to know.
So then she really freaked me out. Your subconscious told me when to stop. That’s what she said.
Trapped emotions. Subconscious chatting with a friend half way across the country. What secrets does it spill?
And yet. A heel that’s pain free.
The next day the little toe of my right foot felt as if it had fractured at some point in the night. Crap. I called Prabha and told her my subconscious and I don’t get on too well. It fractured my toe, or at least so the toe feels like. A nine on the pain scale. Or eight at best. She did a session the same day. Did she bribe my subconscious, play music to it? Pander to its ego? I have no clue. The next day the pain was gone. Vanished.
Trapped emotions. Okay. Like kidney stones. Or something. It makes sense.
When I feel things strongly- where do they go after I’ve felt them? Where do they go after I’ve ignored them? What happens to rage after I’ve controlled it? Does my frustration pack a bag and catch a train? Is helplessness gone with the past where I felt it? Or rolled over and died in the present where I bury it in lists of to-do’s?
I will not delve into the mystery again. For a while. I will call her if I need help. I will let her laugh and chat with my subconscious, they seem to get on better without me in the room.
It takes something out of the practitioner too. I think Prabha not only works at this mystery, holding meetings with a host of subconscious selves, but also brings her own attention, experience and understanding to the practice. This is written to say thank you. For fixing heel and toe. For long conversations. For teaching me something new about myself. For helping me to attend to and to respect my own feelings.