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.
“Your task is not to seek for love, but merely to seek and find all the barriers within yourself that you have built.” -Rumi
I had my monthly Yoga Teacher Training weekend several weeks ago. While every training weekend leaves me feeling renewed and full of new material for introspection, this most recent one involved an experience that I am still working through internally.
Happy New Year!
Winter has always been a difficult season for me. The frigid weather, the snow, the daytime hours seeming to be over before they’ve even really begun. In fact, several years ago I actually moved to California in hopes of escaping the “winter blues” I always seemed to get afflicted with year after year. It didn’t help! I moved back to Massachusetts after just a year on the west coast.
This year is especially difficult for me. I had briefly mentioned in an introductory newsletter that I came to own The Healing Center after a very traumatic event in my life. That event was my discovery of my husband’s infidelity. There are a few hundred subscribers on this mailing list, and statistics show me that many of you have likely been in this position before in some form. To those of you that have: I understand. To say it is life altering is an understatement of unimaginable proportions.
This year, in addition to my usual burden of dealing with low energy and positivity as result of the season, I am also tasked with searching for emotions and qualities within myself to assist me in my journey of recovery. Seeking out acceptance, optimism, compassion, confidence, and independence (for starters) has been the very opposite of an easy endeavor…but I have been succeeding. I have spent countless hours the past few months looking inward and allowing myself the time it is taking to accept that this event in my life does not define me.
I read somewhere once that sometimes we are taken into troubled waters not to drown, but to be cleansed. I truly believe that. During many meditations I have sat with the idea that I am the one, the ONLY one, with the power when it comes to my thoughts and feelings. Is this idea easier said than done? Of course! But it is also true. I alone have the power to choose to be happy, to choose what defines me, and to choose how I let outside factors affect me. So this winter, and in this new year, I am attempting to put those words into action. I am attempting to find myself cleansed and renewed from this—both my personal trauma, and the desolation of winter. Will I still have hard days? Will I still desperately miss the warm sunshine and green foliage? Will I still struggle to get out of bed some mornings? Yes, yes, and yes. But I am still trying, because my happiness will always be worth all the energy I have within me to supply to it.
If you have suffered (but survived!) through infidelity in your life, please take advantage of my offer of half off of a private Reiki session for you during the entire month of January ($15 for 30 minutes, $30 for 60 minutes.) Email me at firstname.lastname@example.org to set up an appointment. or call 978-338-5571. The path to healing is paved with patience, introspection, and most importantly: self-care.
To quote Robert Frost, since his last name and these words feel so appropriate here and now: “The best way out is always through.”
P.S. Check out the Classes/Workshops tab on the website to see what else THC has to offer in 2016!
The Remembrance is from the Sufi tradition, and I learned it from Mark Silver. Apparently, there are many names for God in the Sufi tradition, and one of those names is Ash-Shakur. The story with this name is that in the beginning there was just God. God wanted to be able to see, experience and appreciate all aspects of itself so God created all the creations in the Universe. Ash-Shakur is the name for God that means “One who Appreciates”.
I learned and practiced this technique when I went out to Portland, Oregon in February 2011 for a seminar with Mark Silver. As we leaned back (metaphorically and physically) into the Source in Remembrance and asked for Appreciation, we were amazed how easily and powerfully we received it! It never failed to fill our hearts with a sense of being unconditionally loved. And, wow what things you feel you can accomplish and experience when you are held in that place!
It’s a simple practice. First you center yourself in your body, allowing yourself to relax and focus inward. If you like, you can place your hand over your heart. The simply call on the Divine in your heart with a name that resonates for you. It might be God, Goddess, Great Spirit, Ohm or even your own name. I call on the Divine with the name Amma which to me means, Mother.
I like to picture my heart as a castle and courtyard encompassed by a wall that keeps my heart safe.
When I need support, I envision going to a back gate at the edge of my garden, and I call out to Amma asking her to join me. I envision this lovely, older lady walking up the path and coming into my garden. She comes in, sits down and over a cup of tea we talk about what’s bothering me, what I need. Her presence is so nurturing and soothing. I feel better just having her near, and the longer we sit together the more clarity and comfort I get about what’s been troubling me. It seems to me that when I am ready to cross one of those scary bridges, she holds my hand and walks with me.
Insights, new perspectives, healing happens gently as we cross the bridge. That’s what Remembrance is like for me. This technique is so easy, and I have been teaching it to everyone I’ve encountered since my return from Portland! It’s been an “Ah-ha!” experience for all whom I’ve shared it with.
Here’s my version of how to lean back into the Source for Appreciation and support.
Begin by sitting somewhere comfortable where you won’t be disturbed for 5 minutes or so. Take some slow, gentle breaths and release any tension in your body.
2. Check in with your Heart
Bring your attention to your heart center. Check in and see what you are experiencing at this moment. Trust and make space for however you are feeling – whatever it is- it’s ok. Just acknowledge how you feel and allow it to exist.
3. Connect with the Source
With your attention in your heart center, ask the Source to come forth and be present in your heart. The way we learned was to repeat a name of Source that resonates with us. For me, it’s “Mah”, but choose something that works for you. Repeat the Name in your heart a few times and gently let your heart open to receive this connection.
4. Ask for Appreciation
Share the feelings you discovered a few minutes ago in your heart with the Source. Pour your heart out to the Source if you need to. Once it’s all been acknowledged, simply ask to receive Appreciation. Keep breathing with a soft heart and allow yourself to receive whatever comes. For some it may just be a peaceful feeling, for others a vision, and for others maybe a song or words. Allow yourself to lean back and receive this Appreciation, knowing you held by the Source.
Just like any practice, stepping into your heart to find out what it needs and listening for insight and guidance about how to meet those needs, can be challenging at first. Continuing to show up for your heart, day after day, is what makes it easier to access and frees up the flow of insights and inspirations.
Check out this post on my website to download a recorded version of the Remembrance you can practice at home.