What do a Reiki Master/Yoga teacher and Personal Stylist have in common (aside from both being fabulous, I mean)? Unfortunately the answer is that in both professions the issue of low self worth is common in clients. Body image woes seem to plague people from the Yoga mat to the closet and everywhere in between.
On the afternoon of May 14th, 2014 I was laboring in a tub at The Birth Center in Beverly.
This was my first time doing the whole “pushing a human out of my body” thing, and despite all of the books I had read, mothers I had spoken to, and videos I had watched about what giving birth is actually like I was still completely (and I mean COMPLETELY) shocked by how painful the contractions were.
I was doing my best to handle everything as calmly as my body and mind were allowing, but I was also dealing with back labor (side note: back labor is the opposite of a good time) and getting fatigued. During all of this I had music playing on my phone from the playlist I’d compiled carefully weeks before. Continue reading “No Apology Necessary”
One of the main aspects of being a Reiki and Yoga teacher I value, perhaps even treasure, is that people feel comfortable opening up to me. I have heard stories of anger, exhaustion, uncertainty, grief, hope, and joy. I have had folks come in and not say anything, but quietly permit some likely long overdue tears to fall.
There is nothing on my intake forms suggesting clients need to share the personal details of their experiences with me, but more often than not, I do get blessed with the background of these souls. They are trusting me to listen, and I do. I listen, I empathize, I let them share whatever they want or need to.
I hear them.
I hold space for them.
Personally, I have been through ordeals in my life so intense, so weird, and/or so frightening that I absolutely had to release them in some way. I have needed someone to hold space for me.
I learned fairly quickly the person I chose to be my confidant had to have some qualifications: they had to possess the ability to refrain from passing judgment on me (though an occasional eyebrow raise might have been permitted if the story truly warranted it–they’re human), they had to grant me the freedom to express myself with any and all emotions (if they can’t handle me at my snot and tear stained face, they don’t deserve me at my glowing elated face), they had to listen without going rogue and trying to figure out a solution for me, because holding space is about providing support, not trying to “fix” things or find answers (those are my responsibility), and they had to allow me to talk (or not talk) without feeling expected to do anything else. Despite this laundry list of demands, I came to trust a few people with this role.
Why do we need an outlet like this? What is it about exposing our true selves to another that helps us abandon our internal narratives for a while? Maybe we are organically releasing some of the weight of our burdens, and maybe that release creates room for relief, however brief. Maybe sometimes we just want to feel heard.
Our problems or struggles may not vanish, but by sharing with someone willing to listen we are granting ourselves permission to let go a little. Sharing a small part of our genuine selves with confidence is priceless, and having someone willing to accompany you without judgment is a gift. Each time someone in my life graces me with the opportunity to free myself of my challenges for a short while, I see them as a lighthouse in the middle of a storm. They are a beacon for me when things feel like they’re falling apart.
The act of holding space for someone is one of true kindness and compassion. Allowing a person to become vulnerable in your presence, whether they choose to actually speak their mind or not, is a significant responsibility.
Can you hear their words without injecting your own opinions? Can you sit with them and simply let them feel? Can you bear witness to a small piece of their journey without asking for anything in return?
Try. Someone will be grateful you did.
I am someone who enjoys a good challenge, and by “enjoy” I mean practically destroy myself in the process of trying to achieve success. Exhibit A: my brief but unbelievably intense obsession with press handstands.
If you’re not familiar with the term, a “press handstand” just means that rather than kicking up to get yourself vertical, you lift your lower body off the ground like magic using mainly core and arm strength. When I first discovered this practice, I quite literally thought I was witnessing some sort of dark sorcery. I could not fathom that it was possible for a human body to just float on up like that. Thus, my obsession began.
In early 2015 I was a stay at home mom to a beautiful 8 month old child, with a growing desire for some kind of creative outlet. Now that I’ve said that the nice way, let me rephrase that and tell you that I was practically ripping my hair out with wild, dangerous eyes searching for something, ANYTHING, to give me a connection to the outside world. It was a long winter spent mostly indoors; the snow that year was unbelievable and we were one of the lucky folks who had to deal with the aftermath of an ice dam on our roof. I was keeping myself busy with all the never-ending tasks that come with motherhood and homemaking, but I was desperate to do something for myself (it would be another 6 months before the opportunity to purchase The Healing Center came around). So I started a blog. Continue reading “Elderberry Syrup & Vegan Gummies”
At the end of last year (is it just me or does it always feel weird to call it “last year” when it was only a few days ago?) I felt the theme of “creating space” arrive in my life. Or, more accurately, I belatedly acknowledged its relentless presence. It had presented itself to me over and over in different ways for months, maybe even years, until I eventually managed to connect the dots (at which point the Universe was probably thinking “ugh, FINALLY.”)
Picture a golden glow, with obnoxious yet glorious rays shining in every direction directly out of my face. That is how I felt as I completed my 200 hour yoga teacher training. I spent 10 months immersing myself in all things yoga, and I finally reached the end of that chapter and I felt RADIANT. I still do. I have been struggling to write this post for months, purely because I don’t know where to begin. So much happened in this training and I am still absorbing it all, even now. Continue reading “200 Hours Later”