I have a feeling this might be another long one, but bare with me!
I was reminded of a story today. As I strive to create a space of healing for myself, I easily understand the need of practicing the work. I understand that healing evolves as does my body and mind. I understand the importance of meditation and in my minds power to grow and let go, just as it’s power to change the physical body. I also understand the ability of physical work and it’s effects on the mind and spirit. These qualities, along with an empathetic view of those around me it has been a simple decision to help others through the muck, so to speak.
In my years of being a massage therapist, I have been able to help my clients in unconventional ways. My massage techniques embody my background in Chemistry, Biology, Anatomy and Physiology. There really isn’t anyone that I have met so far that does what I do. And I have looked… and looked. I have almost frantically looked for a therapist that has the intuition and the knowledge to intertwine modalities to fit the clients body, someone to trust my clients care to.
I want to say it was hard and that I worked diligently at growing my practice, but the truth is, as hard as the work is physically, the clients came as long as I was open to the needs of those around me. I successfully built my business 100% from referrals. I knew when I was going through school that my intuition led me through the body as if it were a map leading me across the terrain with the path easily marked with bright red marker… it is like GPS that says ” Go here and then turn there”. It is hard to come up with the words to describe what I do, even my clients can’t put it into words. My background is in science, but my heart leads the mind and I have found a way to instigate emotional and mental growth why changing the physical alignment of their bodies. I am a catalyst to the understanding of the works of their own bodies. But I feel that I have failed them, because as there has been much growth and expansion of knowledge, they still depend on me to do the work, what have I really given them?
I finally found a way for me to experience this growth. I began practicing Anusara and other integrated yoga classes. I followed my heart. It took me there. With my friend Monika being the catalyst, I showed up and my teacher appeared. As with anything I do, my practical mind looks to what provides an intense learning experience, I study and discover the tiny little intricate details that not only attracted me but have changed me Mind, Body and Spirit. This is simple for me, I feel the effects and what I can’t figure out with the spirit and body, I research. The fact is, it’s complicated for so many looking for answers. The history of Hindu practices, the background of Buddah, the background of the yogis, the mythology of Religion, the egos that attach and the breakdown of systems. As these things cause disillusion for many, I embrace the growth and change of Yoga. So many purist get all riled up about the fact that there are a bunch of white, entitled people that have created so many changes to the original practice. For me, these disagreements and dissension are just part of the story. Just like any other story that is created, it evolves. I am not dissing on purists, I admire and honor their dedication, especially if they can successfully achieve the sensation of that Banyon Tree that Buddah did. But as with any other story in the world, I honor the evolution and the part that each generation that allow it to evolve. Building blocks. Each story is a building block. I believe that the origins and those that lived in those times, enlightened, definitely understood that their ideas would evolve, long after they were gone, and back again, and gone again… who knows, maybe one of them is here, white and entitled, leading me through my evolution. Leading a bunch of people who definitely don’t have the ability to live in the Himalayan mountains. What if all of the people that want enlightenment went there… It would become an overpopulated crazy town and what would be lost….. just history, right? So in my little corner of the world, I work for creating this enlightenment inside myself, where I feel mine belongs. The fact is, I can simply see….I can see and be present in the path to lead others. I can see how the world that so many feel is falling apart or failing them is some way, is just existing and evolving, and that each person plays a crucial part in the beauty of the world. Like it should. I can not however, see myself….. I know my role in the world, but I do not know the worlds role in my own life. So now I work, I practice and I evolve in my own path and try to find the happy medium of being what I need to for others, but also myself. As it is with others, I have been the teacher that appeared, and now I have found mine and I am not turning a blind eye.
So to the story! LOL!
Note: I am retelling the story that might have variations from the original….this is how I can tell the story to reflect my feelings and beliefs (see how the above might tie in here).
There once was a very wise Yogi who lived in a village near the desert. He traveled each day to a shade tree in the desert. It lived there, because there was a river near, but still far enough away, that to reach it’s banks, one has to walk through the heat of the blazing sun. It was always so hot, so the beautiful shade tree served this man to cool his skin from the heat. He would meditate and find answers to so many of mans questions. He had found so many answers and over time believed he was very, very enlightened.
One intense, hot, hot day, he looked upon the river and thought of all of the times, he had left the shade to hydrate and feel the cool water. This particular day, he wanted the water, but did not want to leave the shade that was his friend. This was when he had this thought “What am I doing here going back and forth between the shade and the water, I no longer want to walk in the oppressive heat to reach the water, I am a powerful Yogi, I will use my powers to bring the water to me, here, in the shade. ”
So, for the remainder of this hot day, he meditated, he had used his mind to move many things in his life and today he would bring the river to him, to the shade. He meditated for hours and when he finally felt the coolness of the water, he opened his eyes and he was shocked that as he looked upon the river and it was there, in it’s banks, quietly moving over the sands and rocks, just like it had earlier in the day! He could feel the coolness of the water, how was it not hear! He was dismayed! How dare the waters not bow to his wishes!
He was determined to move the waters, so he returned daily to his shade tree and meditated, and every day, he opened his eyes and became somewhat angry that each day, it was the same result! There, in its banks, the waters ran cool across the sand and rocks. He couldn’t figure out why, after all these years of obedient training and practice that he could not do this! After many months of this practice, no longer did he meditate to center or ground himself and work for the people that believed in him. No longer did he find peace, just frustration that the waters did not obey.
Then one day, on his journey to the shade tree near the river, but not near enough, he traveled through the desert and as he walked, he came across a shovel that was lying in his path. He thought that this was such an odd place to find a shovel. What poor unfortunate soul had lost his shovel here? Then, as an enlightened man does, he paused for a moment and thought about this object he found and what this object is used for, and the odd circumstance that it was there, in his path and knew he could not deny its purpose. He then realized how handy a shovel could be to help him reach his goal! He was excited to begin. When he reached his shady friend, he rested there for a bit and made his plans. He then walked to the banks of the river and he began to dig.
He dug a trench using this shovel he had happened upon. He trenched for days, taking pause to rest in the shade and drink from the river when his body called for it. After many a day, he realized that his work, despite the intense heat, had become pleasant and fulfilling, had brought his trench to the shade! So much joy had this hard work brought to him, he then began to trench back towards the river. He had is water by the shade, but because his work had brought him to a new enlightened feeling, he felt that taking the water back to the river, within its banks, that it would be able to not just serve him, but his village and many others that the river delivered life to. So much joy did this work bring to the Yogi. He realized that his ego had taken him to a place where he had become blind to his work, his practice, his existence. And through this experience did he learn that the work is never done. Growth is never complete and evolution is boundless. By evolving and growing in ways we may not understand yet, we learn even greater humility and our hearts are opened to serving others again, and understanding that without these moments of truth, we are stagnate.
So today, whatever pinnacle you feel you have reached and that you can’t possibly learn anymore about that one thing, open your heart, open your heart to the beauty of evolution and take the plunge. Whatever challenges you think you cannot overcome, embrace them. Look at the possibilities and do the work. Start the work, take your time, don’t miss the beauty and simplicity of the work itself. Live simple in your actions and dream big as to where they can take you.
Mine are taking me to Cognizant Reconstruction. My job as a massage therapist is coming to an end. I want to provide my clients the next phase of work that they can do on their own, when they are ready. When they are ready to see the beauty of themselves and their hearts, where they are now, and realize that the stagnant and challenging moments in life are what lead us to enlightenment and growth. The hard work to come will bring peace, joy and accomplishment. You are worth every deep breath, every moment of doubt, every moment that you want to give up and not do. You are worth the work.
It is time.
Love and Namaste,