The body says what words cannot. ~Martha Graham
It takes great courage and energy to cultivate non-doing, both in stillness and in activity. Nor is it easy to make a special time for non-doing and to keep at it in the face of everything in our lives which needs to be done. ~ Jon Kabat-Zinn
Riding the wave of powerful cleansing energy from my Reiki attunement, I thought I would just continue to feel better. After all 21 days of cleansing and balancing just happens, so why wouldn’t it be possible for me to just feel energized by that? So I continued to do too much, and stress too much, and after the first few days, I fell into bed without doing self-Reiki, and went to work in the morning without doing meditation…and you know what? I feel lousy.
In some ways, even though I do feel less drained than I did before, I feel worse, because now my body is even more aware of what I’m doing wrong. When dinner is cheese and crackers and applesauce, my body knows that something is missing. When I’m too lazy to take my vitamins before bed, the things those vitamins are supposed to be balancing act up. Now, all the messages that my body has been giving me all along are too loud to be ignored. Something has to give, and my health has been that something far too often. Even now I feel the ache in the back of my throat and the dull pain in my temple that means I’m dehydrated and overtired, and last night I was wide awake in the middle of the night with thoughts bouncing around in my head.
Self-care is not optional. I knew this when I began training to be a psychotherapist; I knew that in order to treat and care for others, I had to have a way to care for myself. And yet, as soon as I get busy, it’s the first thing I let slide. I wasn’t going to write today – caught up in the whirlwind of final papers, I thought, I should take this time to write papers, not to write something “frivolous”. But this is important. This blog post may not change anyone else’s life, but it’s a reminder that I am committing once again to changing my own. I need to write. I need to sleep, and meditate, and eat good food, and do yoga, and do self-Reiki and make myself a priority. Because when I put everyone else first, we all lose out, because I can’t give them my whole self until I make sure that I’m making myself whole.
We are not human beings having a spiritual experience; but spiritual beings having a human experience. ~Pierre Teilhard de Chardin
I spent the past day and a half at a Reiki I training. Friday night, after meeting my teacher and classmates, I was treated to a guided meditation and attunement. Basically this means I got to relax and let healing energy flow in and around and through me as my body learned how to channel it. I felt like I was sparkling last night. I felt loving and open and warm, and it was wonderful.
Today, I learned more of the history and philosophy and guidelines of the practice, and how to give Reiki treatments to myself and others. I gave a treatment and received one. And in giving this treatment, I feel like I understand a little bit better what happens when people are filled with the holy spirit, or blessed in some way, or feel the presence of a higher power…in the words of my beloved musical Godspell (and so, yes, also the Gospel of Matthew) “The lamp of the body is the eye. If therefore your eye is sound, your whole body will be full of light.” My whole body felt full of light…
With this new, cleansing energy in my life, I can’t wait to see what else comes next…
”When I am able to resist the temptation to judge others, I can see them as teachers of forgiveness in my life, reminding me that I can only have peace of mind when I forgive rather than judge.”
- Jerry Jampolsky
It’s really hard not to judge people. It’s something I struggle with almost every day. I make snap judgments, jump to conclusions, make statements that are broad and sweeping…it’s been something that has damaged relationships with friends, caused friction with co-workers, and generally made me a difficult person to interact with in many cases.
And I’m training to be a psychotherapist. My job is to be the person who holds people in warm regard and offers them a non-judgmental safe space. This is hard. But I think this is one of the lessons that I’m in this life to work on. All the years of struggling with my own judgmental impulses is a part of the journey, and I hope that I can weigh all of those experiences as ways that I have learned. I’m not saying I’m there…I don’t know if I can get there in less than a lifetime…but I’m trying.
So for today, I am trying to open my mind a little more than I did yesterday. For this moment, I am trying to take a deep breath before reacting. But I can’t promise that I can do it every day. All I can do is try.