Forever Claiming the Key to My Freedom: My Tattoo

by Rachelle Anslyn  Nov 7, 2015
Forever Claiming the Key to My Freedom: My Tattoo

I turned 40 this year. I have no idea what that means but it feels interesting. I went 40 years of my life with no markings on my body other than a few scars…the most noteworthy were on my hands from my best friend growing up. We got in a fight when we were in middle school and started pinching each other. Our instincts are so on the surface when we're young, aren’t they? You feel the impulse to do something and you do it! But I digress...

Markings are just that...a marking of something. I didn’t know if I would ever get a tattoo or not. It's not like I was against them, but I did know that if I were to ever get one, it would be a clear call with a clear symbol. Just like that, I would know. I honestly didn’t think it would happen in this lifetime. And then it did.

One year to the day after Aubrey, Marcus, Eli, and I had officially became OneTaste Los Angeles, the holders and owners of the city, I was on a plane to NYC for a month of slow practice and recovery. Pretty much as soon as I landed, I heard the whisper. I was going to get a tattoo while I was in NY. There was a jolt of exhilaration in my body and the image began to take shape and meaning in my mind.

The last year of running the business worked me in ways that even after a month-long sabbatical, I'm still trying to digest. What I went through was initiation. This work is such a pain in the ass, revealing the places where I thought I had it all together but would then unravel right in front of me, making who I thought I was unrecognizable. Sometimes I resemble a two year old more than the advanced and evolved adult that I swear was even in my twenties! Who we are in relationship to stress, pressure, and relationships becomes a research project to recognize our emergent behavior and work out our conditioning. No doubt, it's grueling.

I touched some rock-bottoms and I can still feel the shards shredding the inner lining of my stomach when I think about them. I’m a bottom dweller anyway. I guess I just love God a lot a lot. I know that down there it is saturated with not only God but the primal human pain that is ageless, timeless, and beyond conditions. Those spots are the jewels of power, compassion, and love. The power in the powerless. It sounds so beautiful and poetic, but how it feels is like a bad acid trip that you don’t know your way of until you give up the fight and just feel. Everything you feel becomes slower and more manageable. The pulse is just life and breath, just space. There you have God and you remember.

“Throughout the world the rituals of transformation from infancy to manhood are attended with, and effected by, excruciating ordeals. Scourings, fastings, the knocking out of teeth, scarifications, finger sacrifices, the removal of a testicle, cicatrization, circumcision, sub-incision, bitings, and burnings are the general rule. These, indeed, make brutally actual a general infantile fantasy of Oedipal aggression; but there is an additional aspect of the situation to be considered, inasmuch as the natural body is transformed by the ordeals into an ever-present sign of a new spiritual state.” - Joseph Campbell

I have my own versions of what those rituals of transformation were for me. I have a very tough little one who believes she can make it through anything and she does it with a lot of protection and fighting and freezing. A lot. I just catapult myself into the center of the bull ring and wonder why I got knocked out. Yea, she’s tough alright, but boy is she tender too, and I didn’t take care of her very well in there. It was time learn how.

So there I was in New York. We peaked, the stroke changed. I went to God.

I went with Po to a tattoo place and looked at the work of various artists. I found JASE. He doesn't live in NY but comes in from Boston once a month, and I knew he was the guy, so I made an appointment with him for his next trip into the city. It turns out he’s magic - no surprise. The whole design had come through me and he brought it to life. The initiation was a passage into adulthood in claiming my own freedom, and taking ownership of my power in an irrefutable way. The infinity symbol with the snake is the reminder that we are always going to go through death and rebirth cycles. One passage always leads to another. We see this cycle in the eight stages of orgasm as well. Kundalini, which has been one of my soul paths, is that awakened state.

The piece of the key that's more challenging for me is the one that is both my gift and the thing I think I should do away with for my protection. It's that freedom and awakening that unlocks with an open heart. Ouch! I can’t just sit in my bliss, I also have to lean into connection with love. That’s the real work everyday.

My tattoo is home to me now. It came through me, as me, to remind me.


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