Hello Dearest Ones!
I felt a dramatic shift in my body and mind from the very first yoga class I took. It is a practice that is near and dear to me. I have been studying and practicing yoga for almost two decades now, and it will forever be a part of my self-care practice. Oh boy, here comes that self-care word again. The concept can be a little triggering for some of us. And, as I shared with you last month, I also know how central self-care is to the healthy, happy and free life I want to live.
This month what is coming up for me, quite unprovoked, is an exploration into the things that block me from having a consistent and healthy self-care practice. Wow! I must tell you, this almost blew my mind. I have done so much self healing and so much assisted healing, and I am incredibly disciplined and have great will power, so it kind of floored me that I still have some pretty substantial blocks to really taking care of myself. You might find yourself standing on this same, unstable raft, surrounded by the sometimes raging, sometimes tranquil waters that are life.
To better understand where I’m going, it might be helpful to talk a little bit about how I approach energy healing. When I am communicating with a client’s ‘body’, I am communicating with their subconscious mental, emotional and physical material. I am communicating with their cellular memory and the deeper layers of their psyche. Rarely, am I working with the conscious mind. That only occurs (conscious engagement with said material), as things are coming through to be cleared, and there is a need for the individual to have conscious awareness of the content, for full healing to transpire. In simple terms, a large portion of what we each need to heal can simply be healed and cleared without us having to have awareness of it. Then there is the smaller percentage of things that ask for our conscious and active participation in the healing.
When people ask me whether I do my own healing, the answer is that I do some of my own healing, and that I really like to work with other healers, because they don’t have my blind spots. The reason I am so able to access other’s subconscious material, is that I don’t have their blind spots. I don’t even have my blind spots when I’m working with others. But I do have them when I am working on myself.
So, after almost 20 years, I recently bumped into one of my blind spots around practicing yoga. As you all may have noticed, we are in the middle of a pandemic :-), and in-studio yoga classes are not currently available where I practice. And, as you already know, online yoga doesn’t work so well for me. I know, it seems obvious. I’m a yoga teacher, so why don’t I just practice my own yoga? And that is where we hit my self-care block.
When people ask me if I practice yoga at home, or by myself in general, the answer is always “no”. And the reason is always that “I am a group yoga practitioner”. And that “I prefer to practice yoga with others.” And I’m sure there is truth in this. I will always love to practice yoga with others and get to enjoy the group energy that it builds. However, lately it occurred to me to question that belief. I started to question it because my body isn’t loving how it feels without regular yoga in my life. I love to walk, and I have been walking a ton since the start of the pandemic. My body is accustomed to complementing the walking with yoga. And let me tell ya, she ain’t so happy with me right now!
The other day during my meditation and pranayama practice, it occurred to me that I was really going to have to start an at home yoga practice. My body just can’t do without it. I had a lot of resistance to the idea. I said to myself: “It’s just not my thing.” This reaction made me question why it is that I can lead a class in which I practice with others, and allow others to follow while I do my own practice, but I won’t just do my own practice. I thought of this because I have been doing just that once a week with a couple of friends for the last month or so. And I love it. It doesn’t feel hard or unappealing or any of those things.
So then I asked myself, how is that different than a home practice? The answer that came to me was that I was doing it for others as well, and that feels good to me. You guessed it: I am being of service. So then I asked myself if I was willing to be of service in that way to myself. And sadly, the answer was no. Then I asked if I felt like I could be that generous to myself. And again, the answer was no. Ultimately, on a subconscious level (now conscious) I haven’t believed, probably for most of my life, that I deserved that much attention from myself.
Pretty bazaar, don’t you think? What makes it even more bazaar is that it’s really common. This sort of self-denial is happening every day for most of us. And it comes in all forms. For me, this time, it came as a belief that I don’t like practicing yoga by myself. Probably its most common form, is the belief that we don’t have time to take care of ourselves. How many times do we hear ourselves say, “I would love to do ______, I just don’t have the time.”
Here is the hopeful part. Simply by bringing that subconscious block to the surface, and by combining it with my conscious belief that I really do want and need to give myself a regular solo yoga practice, I was able to get up the next morning and treat myself to a lovely yoga practice. Admittedly, it didn’t feel super comfortable, but I did it and my body felt great afterward. I was able to repeat that act of self-love (self-care) this morning.
Being able to take an action step in the direction of a new belief and a new kind of self-care borders on the miraculous. That might feel like an exaggeration to some of you, but think of how often your attempts at minor behavioral and lifestyle changes are completely foiled, over and over again. That is the true beauty in the work I do. Being able to help others locate and clear those subconscious blocks that hinder us from living life on our own terms. Or at the very least, discovering what our terms are.
Now go discover your terms, and take care of yourself by making a small movement in a direction you actually want to move. It will give you tons of opportunities to stumble over your blocks and fall into your blind spots. Beautiful. Healing. Miraculous.
I love you all,
P.S. Notice how I kept asking questions. Once I would get an answer, I would ask that answer another question. The appropriate questions will usually come to us if we loosen our grip. This is how we can reach deeper layers of awareness. The first several answers are usually just defense mechanisms. We have to keep asking to get through our own defenses
Tawa Ranes has a very curious mind and has always been interested in the nature of consciousness and the workings of the Universe. Since healing has been a big part of her own personal journey, much of her curiosity focuses on understanding how and why healing occurs or fails to take place.