"Make the most of yourself,
for that is all there is of you."
~Ralph Waldo Emerson
This morning, I paused in my rush of things to do in order to meditate. As I learned in yoga teacher training, meditation is something we make time for, rather than find time for, because if doing the latter, it may never happen. By truly creating time for meditation, it actually cultivates more space to do everything we'd like to, as the ripple effects of mindfulness and centering tend to flow onwards and outwards throughout the day.
Once I pulled my chair aside and quieted everything down, I immediately felt the need to practice metta (loving kindness) and Ho'oponopono, both of which are methods I've learned for cultivating compassion and forgiveness. With the latter, an ancient Hawaiian technique, one repeats the phrases: "I'm sorry. Please forgive me. Thank you. I love you." The way I learned it is actually just slightly different than the way it was originally evoked: "I'm sorry. Please forgive me. I love you. Thank you." (It's a subtle shift, but I find that the first one works better for me.)
Whenever I've done these practices, especially when something or someone is hurting my heart, the results of repeating these mantras have been profound. I called into mind various people who I wanted to send this energy to until finally, those visuals gave way to reveal only myself.
In the work I do as a yoga teacher, a Reiki Master practitioner, and a writer, many people have frequently called me a "healer." Yet, I adhere to the belief that many of my mentors do, where we are simply serving as a vessel for our client's inner teacher to come forth, so that in the end, the process becomes an empowering one for the person we're helping. It was a wonder then, that up until now, it's been so hard to give myself the same kind of love, affection, and care I heartily offer to others and it's been a perpetual practice in living my truth.
Slowly and gently, I placed my hands on my heart, then on my low belly where I've learned one's inner child lives, then on my hips where I've felt quite a lot of pain for many months now. I repeated the Ho'oponopono chant in each of these places and started to feel a tenderness swell as my palms became hotter with healing energy emanating from myself for myself. I began to conjure the feeling of a mother doting on her baby, that nurturing ability to love a being with an infinite sense of care swimming through her blood and circulating throughout her soul.
But, I didn't have that kind of mother myself. So, in order to get here, it's required moving through a lot of rage, self-loathing, and doubt.
Yoga brings us to the brink of understanding of what is, then nudges us slightly over the edge to float in the mystery of life and its universal truths. In the past, it's been incredibly hard to flow through physical asanas that put me in poses where I felt all of my bodily insecurities. And, it's been even more challenging to look back upon all the times that I binged and purged and hurt my physical body to cellular depths or witnessed how damaging thoughts have shoveled harmful grooves in my brain and ripped at my soul.
I've felt torn in so many ways that it seemed impossible to piece me back together.
But, that's what's happened, where I now see how I've become a stained glass masterpiece hanging in a divine chapel. I like the idea of creating altars within my life for the ways I have triumphed, for the times that I still grieve, for the beauty and magnificence of a force much greater than myself that has propelled me forward in growth year after year, day after minute, moment after now.
I feel as though I'm becoming a steward of my sacredness. This vessel that is intricate and brilliant and sultry and boldly original.
By placing my healing hands on myself, and wanting the same peace and vibrancy for me as for everyone else I encounter, I am learning how to love every detail of myself, seeing that I am not only worthy, but also looking through the perspective of an ultimate loving force in the Universe.
May we all become our own healers in time.