These days I’m head-down in my second year of graduate school. The Maryland University of Integrative Health has established a Master of Science in Yoga Therapy degree program, and I’m in the first ever cohort. It has been an emotionally and cerebrally intense journey so far, and has enriched my knowledge and skills far beyond what I ever imagined. What I didn’t expect was the amount of personal growth I would experience, not the least of which was discovering that there’s always room for more healing.
Month after month of meditation, studying yoga scriptures, the brain, physiology, as well as yoga practice on the mat, sharing, discussions, fears, insights, self-doubts and self-discoveries, I and my colleagues have opened into a new awareness of what it really means to live the human experience. I’ve learned more about myself, that I’ll always be navigating the turbulence of life’s unexpected curve balls. That I can experience the full spectrum of emotions without being held hostage by any one of them. I’ve experienced the re-opening of some of my wounds (which I discovered never really closed in the first place). But now, I can be with them in a safe place, and I can cultivate the Conscious Witness within and truly feel that I am more than my story, more than my pain. This journey has given me the tools to help keep me afloat.
“Healer, heal thyself.”
In order for us as mind-body practitioners to hold a safe space for our clients, we need to hold one for ourselves. I’ve learned to step out of ego and into awareness. I’ve learned that just because I’m still working through my grief doesn’t mean I can’t be present for the person who is sitting in front of me, needing to work through her grief. I’ve learned that there is a deep well of stillness and compassion that is always accessible.
Keep looking at the bandaged place.
That’s where the light enters you. (Rumi)
Underneath the pain, underneath the fear, underneath the anger, is a quiet place where I can meet my Self. This is a calm abiding place where the reigns that have long gripped my heart can be released. Where I can rest my mind in stillness.
It is a beautiful place.