Tuesday, August 25, 2009

A Healing Meditation

This came during a session with a client.  Hopefully it will be helpful for you.  Feel free to use it or your own variation thereof in session/s you have with your own clients.


She walked out of the village needing to get away and find some time for herself. She had been working on her village people for some time now, being their “healer”, their “medicine man.” But how could she keep this up? She had her own problems, her own illness, her own dis-ease that she could not get a hold on. It was something deep within her that was not right, that kept her from finding her true self, her true power, her true place in this world of needing to help people heal.

As all these thoughts and doubts and sense of failure once again played their chorus through her brain she found herself walking deeper into the forest. She sensed a presence near and looked up to see her horse standing nearby, watching, looking at her; reading her mind. She loved this animal! Given to her by her father several years before, she had grown up from being a young scrawny girl into a beautiful woman with this horse accompanying her at every step. He was her best friend, her constant companion, her escort. She daily took time to talk to him and brush him, to be sure he had fresh water and grass. Whenever she had a break she would jump on him and ride, just to feel the wind in her hair. He was brown, a rich chocolate brown with a white star in the middle of his forehead. She knew he came from a star far away, sent her just to her, just for her, and she was thankful.

Seeing him, she decided it was time to do something different. Forgetting all the things she had waiting back at the village and not even thinking to say anything to her family, she jumped on her horse and started off, heading further into the forest.

How she loved these woods! She had never lived anywhere else and knew like she knew her own hand the area for several miles around. In these woods was all she had ever desired or wanted. A place to go when she needed to be alone, a place to find coolness when she was hot and bothered, a sunny glade when she needed light and warmth. But today, as she headed out, a strange stirring began to move in her belly. Something drew her further out, further away, further into the woods than ever she had gone before. Something was drawing her toward a freedom she had never known or even thought of before. She let this feeling grow within her until, a couple of hours after mounting her horse, she decided she would shed as much of what seemed to prevent her from growing and healing and just begin to feel and experience what was growing inside of her. She removed her clothes – all of them, even the moccasins which had been a gift from her grandfather. She rolled them up carefully and tied them with the thong that kept her hair pulled back and away from her face and let them lay over the shoulder of her friend upon which she rode. There. She had done it. She was now naked and although it felt at first wonderful, and scary, and bold, and frightening, and just a bit weird, it quickly became very comfortable and very relaxing and very natural. As she rode she began to feel, for the first time probably, her very self. She felt the sun on her body caressing every part of it, the occasional puff of breeze that stirred through the trees and lovingly stroked her, the feel of the gently moving horse under her, strong and powerful. She wondered why it had taken her this long to really feel so much.

As she continued to enjoy the feeling of just feeling and the feeling of freedom that it brought, she began to realize that this was in itself healing. She was finally letting go of much of the fear she had of being weird and different, of wondering if others thought her to be beautiful. Now, from within herself, she just knew. She was herself. That was all that mattered. She was beautiful, not because someone said so or because her body had a particular shape or skin tone, but just because she existed. And she began to feel better, but underneath, down deep, in the pit of her gut where her deepest self spoke to herself, she knew that she still was not healed.

She rode for a while before she felt a new feeling on her skin. Her reverie broken, she looked as more and more of the same new feelings came and she saw that it was drops of water beginning to fall on her from a rain cloud that had moved in and seemed to perch itself right over her head. It began to fall more steadily, not so hard that she could not see or breathe, but steadily, gently, firmly. She tuned her senses to the feeling and soon she could feel the water falling on her head begin to drip off her hair, onto her shoulders. She turned her head upwards to welcome it, letting it bathe her face and fall onto her tongue. She felt it gently moisten her breasts and run in small rivulets down her belly. She could feel it cooling her legs and feet. It felt like she was being washed free of pain and disappointment that had been hanging onto her body for years, weighing her down, holding her back. As she allowed it all to flow away, she felt better. But she knew, in her deep self, that she was not healed.

The rain cloud did not stay long, doing its job in washing her then moving on. In its place returned the sun, glinting through the trees. She rode on, but before she could even begin to take a chill from being wet, she came upon a wondrously open, grassy glade surrounding a lovely pool. Already wet, she slid off her steed and waded into the water. It beckoned her with an invitation that was irresistible. The water felt soft and welcoming and only just barely cool as she continued to step in and then slowly slipped under the quiet surface. She stayed under for as long as she could, came to the surface and grabbed a fresh breath of air, then rolled over and floated. She was being held on a soft mattress of total relaxation, of release like she had never known before. She floated for a while then found herself in the center of the pool where her hand brushed across a rock. Curious, she explored its shape and realized it was only a few inches below the surface, elongated and with indentations that would just fit a body. It was like a couch placed at just the right place and height to let her lay and be enveloped by this life-giving fluid that buoyed her. She could not resist the invitation and lay on it. She looked up and saw her horse standing, head down, contentedly munching. He looked back at her with that knowing look in his eyes and stepped to the pool’s edge and helped himself to a long draught. She lay there for a long time enjoying the serenity and the feeling of being hugged and nurtured like never before. The shadows began to lengthen just a bit and she decided it was time to keep moving. She moved off the rocky lounge, back into the depth of the pool. As her feet struck bottom and she began to walk out of this womb, she felt like she had been baptized, born again, renewed. She felt better, much better, but down deep she knew that she was not healed.

Still wet, she climbed back onto her friend, now also renewed himself, and headed out. They immediately came into a large, wide open meadow. The sun was still high enough to be warm and drying and she lay back and let it dry her off. The warmth on her hair, her face, her throat, her breasts, belly and legs filled her with a fire that seemed to take all the remaining pain and just burn it out of her. She felt clean and whole and much, much better, but down deep she knew that she was not healed.

Her horse stopped and pawed the ground then looked back and up at her. Having gotten her attention, he gave that mischievous look that said it was time to play. Delighted, she agreed and with her legs gripped tightly onto his sides. He began to lope and as the ground lay flat before him he let himself go and turned the lope into a full gallop. Ah, the wind! The raw power! The majesty of this beloved animal living free, being free. She caught the energy and emotion of it and sat straight up, matching her body to his smooth stride, using her knees as grips. She spread her arms and opened her mouth and let the breeze have its way with her. Both horse and rider were naked, free, renewing their deep selves with breath and wind, feeling it feed them, feeling their hair flow, streaming, leaving a trail of life and joy behind them. She felt alive, fed by power and wind, able to rise above all, and she felt better, but deep down she knew that she was not healed.

Having quickly, it seemed, come to the far end of the very long and very pleasant meadow, the horse slowed to a gentle walk once again. The meadow soon again became woods and they plunged in, expectant of seeing and feeling even more wonders within. As she looked around her, she began to see flowers and plants and herbs she had not noticed before. Besides seeing them, she also knew how to use them to help her people heal! She just had this knowing coming from within. Touching them, feeling them, she knew what they were for, how to prepare them and dispense them. She began to taste herself, and to give them to her horse. She made potions and smeared them on her skin. She found herself loving this place, finding herself. Days passed and she learned more and more. Her skin grew soft and even more beautiful as her body toned and grew even more healthy. She felt better and better, but down deep she knew that there was something still there, that she was still not healed.

One day as she followed a trail, she noticed a figure in the trail ahead. As she approached she could tell that it was a man, slightly hunched over. He was looking down, picking plants and flowers. He had a couple of satchels slung over his shoulder. As she approached she could tell that he too was naked, though the satchels made it difficult to tell. She slowly came close, scared at first to let him know that she was even there, scared of her own nakedness, scared of the freedom to which she had become accustomed, but then being bold enough to speak. She came up behind him and introduced herself. He looked up and when he did, she saw into his eyes. They were stunning. Deep, old, wise, they had the light of years within them, pools of unfathomable wisdom. He smiled back and they soon were sharing tales of plants and how to use them. As he began to talk, she realized that what she had been learning about plants was barely scratching the surface of what he already knew. She also quickly realized that he was willing, even eager to teach her. She felt a strong desire within herself to learn, and to learn everything she possibly could. More days passed, days of wonder and amazement. She drank deeply of his knowledge, his presence, his eyes. Those eyes! Always warm, always healing just in themselves, always glowing with love and care and presence, never judging or being displeased. In his presence she grew not only in knowledge, but also as a woman, a person. She began to know things about herself as well as about plants. She began to see places in her that still needed healing and did so with grace and eagerness. She felt better and better, but deep down she knew that there was something still there, some deep dark thing she could not totally grasp, not totally release. She knew that she was still not healed.

One day as they worked, she finally could stand it no longer. She blurted out that there was something wrong, she was still not being really healed. What could possibly be the matter? What was she missing? The cry came from a very deep, very primal place within her. He stopped what he was doing, lay down what he was working with and turned and looked deeply into her eyes. At first she looked down and away, but realizing she had never seen any judgment there she realized he was searching her heart, not condemning her. He began to speak, not about plants this time, but about healing. He told her there was yet one thing she needed to do. She heard him say that she needed yet to reach down into the very depths of her soul, down into that dark place that she sensed was within her, that she had not ever wanted to go into, and she must take it out and give it to him, place it not just onto, but into his body.

She shrank back. There was no way she could do this! She knew it was killing her, slowly but inexorably killing her, sucking her life out of her. Now she knew what she had been missing. She had not gone into that deep place and faced it, truly. It was here that she had stored all the hurt and pain and grief and disappointment and hate and fear that she had ever thought or experienced, hoping never to have to see it again. Much of this she thought she had released in the rain or in the pool or into the wind, or had been burned out of her by the sun, or had been replaced by all the plants and food. But she now knew that this wasn’t the case. She had covered it up but not gone after it and faced it. Now she was being asked not only to face it but to give it to this gentle, loving, knowing man that had already done so much for her. She was being asked to heal herself by killing this precious one. She could not. No amount of “healing” could persuade her to do that.

She told him so, and his eyes grew sad and old. He turned and began to take a step away, telling her that he had taught her all he could and it was time for him to go. As he began to leave, she all of a sudden knew why he was alone, why no one else had come to join them or why he had not spoken of any others to whom he had taught what she now knew. Any others that had come this far had also refused his request. You could not do this to this man! It was not possible to put him through literal death just so you could get really better. There were too many others who needed him to teach them as well. She kept telling herself this and he continued to move farther away, finally growing so small that she was not sure she could even make out the stooped figure.

She fell on her knees, sobbing. Why did it have to come to this? Why couldn’t it have been easier? Why did she have to be the bad guy here causing all the pain? Her shame and guilt came rolling in and over her, a tsunami of grief and hate, for herself and her life, for her failure to be the real healer she had tried so hard to be. But then something in her broke and she knew she had to let go of her fear for him and her need to control things, including herself. She screamed with that primal scream that opens the heavens and gave a great racking sob and said to herself, “I’m sorry.” Instantly she felt a presence and there he was, standing once again right next to her. She reached within herself and began to rip and tear all of that pent up emotion from within her deep belly and deep heart and pushed it over onto him. He stood there and began to take it in. She kept pushing and pulling out and pushing into him. Soon he weakened and his knees buckled. He dropped to the ground with a groan and stretched out. He held out open hands and she continued to shovel. Soon his eyes, those glorious eyes!, grew dim and fluttered shut. They stayed that way and still she shoveled and placed the contents onto and into him. Before long his breathing grew labored, then his heart beat stumbled. Finally, when she could dig no more, she stopped. Leaning in, she listened and watched him. She lay her head on his chest while keeping her eyes on his face. The eyes grew dimmer and dimmer and the light went out from within them.

She left that place, climbing back on her horse and heading home. She knew not what else to do. Her heart was at first heavy but soon became light. She knew deep within herself that she was healed. Gloriously, marvelously, completely healed. There was no more any darkness or heaviness being carried in the dark deep places in her. She forgot that she remained naked, it having become the only and natural way to be. This way she could feel, could be in touch with herself and her knowing. She even forgot when she rode into her village, ignoring and not even really registering the stares of her people as they beheld her. The curiosity and disdain soon turned to wonder as they realized that she carried something within her that transcended the outward appearance.

People began to come to her with their needs. She did not say or advertise that she was a healer. The people sensed it, knew it. It was in her eyes, deep eyes, full of warmth and grief and knowingness but also of victory. She was changed, bigger somehow, more beautiful on the outside but breathtaking from the inside.

She left the village one day, just to get away for a short while for some time for herself. As she rounded a bend in the trail she saw a figure. Partly stooped, it carried a couple of satchels over its shoulder. On coming closer, she could tell it was a man and naked as well, though the satchels nearly covered him. At first she was scared of breaking his reverie and of her own nakedness, but then decided to introduce herself. As she approached to do so and began to speak, he turned to look at her and she saw his eyes. Deep, old, wise eyes, full of love and knowingness. He looked at her and smiled.

Be healed.

Dr Jon


Tuesday, May 12, 2009

Loving, Massage, the Business

A few days ago I had the marvelous opportunity to spend a couple of hours with a former massage student who asked to pick my brain about how to improve her new business.

She had been working at a local spa and was moving into her own business, having purchased the lease and customer list from another therapist who was leaving the business.

This was a huge step for her because it was moving her closer to her own dream of what massage therapy is all about.  Though she enjoyed the spa environment, it was all about making people feel good (nothing wrong with that!), but what she envisioned was using massage as a way to go deeply into people's hurts and pains and bring some real healing. (My sentiments exactly!)

So we started in.  Her first question was the same one that all young therapists seem to have: What techniques are the best?

And off we went on a really good, really open discussion.  Bottom line: it is not about technique.  It is about opening your heart and connecting to people where they want to be connected to - deep in their heart, with someone who really cares.  She had done just that with an interview she did in a local paper.  She told her story and opened her heart about her own family pain and need for healing and in doing so let us see her passion for caring for people.  Hers is an amazing heart and an amazing talent and she will do well and lots of good.

From there we got into some nuts and bolts about business.
     Have a vision, write it down, look at it often, make it reflect yourself.
     Have a plan to get to your vision, some practical steps to take, and take them.
     Use the telephone to contact customers; be personal and connect.
     Offer specials that relate to where they live - local event days, holidays, couples.  Ways to let              people know that you know where they live, what matters to them and that you care.
     Hold seminars, conferences, special meetings to help people know what you do and how you                can help them.
     Become the local (or national) expert; tell your story in ongoing installments in local print.                    Make "massage" a household word that means "love, healing, care, compassion".

By the time we were done, I was more jazzed and encouraged than she!  What a great afternoon!

So do the same with your business,  your dream, your massage practice.  Tell your story. Open your heart.  Care for people in new and special ways.

Love Heals.


Dr Jon

Sunday, November 23, 2008

Let's Heal

Valentine's Day 2009.

Change is the current buzzword; change in government leadership(?), change in economic health of many both individually and as a nation (not good, usually).

Time for change for many of us in many ways:

  • change in the way we think - about ourselves, our health, our worth
  • change in the way we care - for ourselves, our homes and lawns, other people
  • change in the way we do - what makes you "hum"? Why not do that?

These and other issues all impact greatly on our health.

With this blog let's address in particular how massage and body work and energy work affects all these areas and how we can use the help gained from massage to not only heal the aches and pains and sore muscles but also begin to heal the deeper layers and issues we all have.

If you are a massage therapist, let's discuss how you can facilitate healing for your clients and yourself even while doing the body work.

Valentine's Day seems like a great day to start talking about Loving ourselves and others!

Comment, share, get open as will I and let's heal! 


Dr Jon