My Inner Worlds
This past week was a pretty balanced one. Yoga tired me and reminded me I need to take it slow as I build my practice back to what it was last fall. Work offered unique opportunities, but allowed me to stay in my quiet zen-like office for as long as I wanted. I felt good and in my flow.
My flow broke when I returned a call to one of our stakeholders. I’ve never truly interacted with this particular woman and regretted the need for a conversation after ten seconds on the phone. This lady was filled with spiky, intense, destructive mojo that absolutely destroyed my peace of body and mind. She argued and actually told me she didn’t care what I had to say (I was explaining financial policy that is out of my control). Ugh. After attempting to be gracious in a no-win situation, she finally allowed me to hang up the phone. But that didn’t disconnect the attachment that formed between her energy and mine.
I’m a Reiki Master, and I’m in tune with energy around me. It has taken years of practice and awareness to balance myself, body and mind, in different environments and tough situations. The effects of this woman’s lack of regard and stabbing intent sat heavy in my gut for hours. Even writing about it brings the feeling back. Eventually I found my equilibrium and went on to have the peaceful sort of day I love and enjoy.
Yesterday I had lunch with a dear friend and relayed this story. She and I met 16 years ago in Reiki Level I training and became fast friends, taking our remaining classes together to become Masters. She reminded me of one of the symbols we learned: Raku. Reiki is based on using symbols while allowing the universal energy to flow through the practitioner and into the person/animal/situation needing healing or wholeness. A Reiki teacher uses Raku to separate her energy from the student after attuning the student to a new level.
Duh. What took me hours to accomplish on my own could have been done within minutes if I had used Raku to separate my energy and emotions from the woman-on-the-phone’s spite. I need to have this symbol on my cork board so I will always see it at work when I end a phone call. If something isn’t in front of my face, I tend to forget it. I trained hard to become a Reiki Master, but I’ve allowed some of that knowledge to fall into the cracks inside my skull. It’s time to dust off the Reiki symbols and see if there is a new and improved way to use them in my life. If I can rediscover a cool use for Raku, then surely more tricks await my creative spin.
What ways do you find effective to keep healthy, safe boundaries with those who think they can intrude into your emotional space? Reiki is one way. I’d love to hear about others.
Today Matt and I celebrated twenty-five years of marriage with two naps, yoga, meditation, writing, and dinner at my favorite restaurant Cowfish. We planned a low-key day because our gift to one another was being debt-free. For the first time in our married life, we owe no one money. It’s a cool way to memorialize our first quarter of a century together. And in the universe’s supportive style, the title to my car arrived in this afternoon’s mail.
Registration for an integration workshop in Arizona opened up this weekend, and we are set to explore our inner selves more deeply in 2018. Matt has some big professional plans that should unfold over the next several months, and we are excited to experience the change that it will bring into our world. I want to get back into writing fiction, but that resurrection can’t occur until my workload lifts in February. Before anything, though…yoga. Straying from my yoga practice since early November has shown me how much my body needs the regular sweating, stretching, and connective tissue care. That has to come first in my decisions on what I will transform in this new phase of our lives.
Here’s to a happier, healthier, and more integrated year for all of us.
Today presented a challenge for balancing my energetic selves. I pluralize self because I have many aspects that don’t yet fit into one. The morning started with a good journaling session and sipping coffee while the Wolf pack meditated and slept around me. (Matt was the meditator; the dogs napped.) Matt had a client session and left for a few hours. During that time I decided the sun felt right for cleansing the household crystals, so I made many trips from room to room and out the back door to carefully place the gems and stones we have collected over the years on the deck to bathe in the sun. Each solstice or equinox, I perform this ritual to help the energy stay clear and balanced in our home. The sun shone beautifully on the yard and begged me to take some pictures of the stones returning to their own natural harmony. So I did, feeling mesmerized by the window crystals featured below.
Something switched me from the calm yin of the morning to an energetic yang that went unnoticed until Matt came home and actually left the room we were in because he was trying to find a meditative space to do his creative work. I harshed his vibe, but didn’t feel insulted. It was time for my advanced yin yoga class, and I left the house knowing I’d return in a smoother frame of mind.
And I did. Class was great, allowing me to sweat out the yang and absorb the yin in the hot room. I arrived home relaxed and found Matt not in the meditative space I had prepared for--he’d taken on the yang. I can now feel some sort of energy zinging inside my core, out of harmony with the chill mood I’m experiencing externally.
The equinox encourages the world to balance, to find that state of equilibrium between light and dark, or any other pair of opposites that apply to our present circumstance. While the true equinox occurred one week ago, I chose to do my seasonal sun clearing today and am feeling the inner imbalance of yin and yang energies. I love that I can sense this and can work towards integrating it into a whole, where the flow gently draws one way or the other, but it still works in harmony. This is the way I become one self instead of the many selves that pull me in disparate directions.
My yogic journey continues, and it is delightful.
Twenty-one summers ago I began a meditation practice. It started from an internal schism between my workaholic nature in public accounting and a desire to be healthy. I felt stressed every day and consumed way too much caffeine so I could keep going nonstop. After the busy tax season that year, I found a flyer advertising an Introduction to Meditation course. I signed up and proceeded to learn different variations of meditation over the six-week class, which allowed participants to choose which one they liked best and incorporate that into a daily routine.
Over the next year I meditated regularly. I even bought a special chair for sitting still in comfort. (That first one wound up being not so comfortable, so I invested in an Ekornes chair that I use to this day.) The following spring I took the advanced meditation course, which I don’t recall very well. I just remember that after the final class my instructor, a mental health therapist, talked to me about starting therapy and offered to work with me. I liked her mind-body awareness, and we had already built trust between us in a non-therapy setting. We began the work of diving into Sarah, and I saw her at least once per week for the next two years. If you’re considering therapy, it’s well worth the investment, when/if you find a person you trust with your inner self.
My meditation practice lasted for a few years, and then it waned as other aspects of life took my attention. While I used stillness and silence in my new interests, it wasn’t focused meditation time.
A month ago Matt asked if I’d join him in a seven-week webinar meditation course. Because these are the types of things that we do on our dates, I said sure. Due to a miscommunication between us, I thought Matt personally knew this guy and that he lived locally in Chapel Hill. I expected a white-collar man who looked like a doctor and probably had a soft torso. When I saw the monk on-screen, I dismissed the class based on his appearance and his accent. He is from India, dresses in full orange regalia, and obviously cares for his body. It’s what one would expect of a yogic meditation teacher, so why did I feel skeptical?
The concepts shared by the monk resonated with me. While I had doubt on one side because he didn’t look like I thought he should, I felt the truth of the meditation flow through me. I had a bad headache that evening, which lessened to almost nothing during the mantra-based stillness. I felt peaceful and centered after the hour. In case you’re interested, here’s the link to the recording.
Our homework was to meditate for at least five minutes morning and evening each day—ten minutes total. I’ve done two five-minute sessions instead of the fourteen we were assigned. Week Two begins this evening, so I feel like I have a fresh start on homework. Will I get my gold stars each day? Check back for an update in a few weeks. I might even have a renewed meditation practice by then.