From my own experience, it rings true for me that your soul will seek out what it needs for its journey in your body. Whether or not we recognize that is another story. I have found that the healing journey to wholeness begins before we are aware of it. It gets kicked into high gear and rises from its dormancy when we decide to be a part of the conversation.
I began at age 6, when I would immerse myself in my own mind. I talked to myself a lot (probably just as much as I do now). It was in being alone, away from my siblings and cousins at times, that I found peace. It wasn’t always peace and yet, I still preferred it. I remember a year after that, a journal was introduced to me by my 2nd grade teacher, Ms. Flores. Around the same time, I began to make a home at the Morrison-Soundview Library. I would go there and read everything I desired. I had received tools to cope with reality and I loved them fiercely. I still do.
I remember that putting my legs up against the wall felt really good. It wasn’t until I started doing yoga years after that I realized my body was using a yogic asana to sooth myself as a young girl. I loved swings and rocking chairs; I have learned along the way that rocking is a self-soothing mechanism. It stimulates the balance mechanism of the inner ear. Often, it is a memory from being rocked back and forth in our mother’s wombs and being rocked to sleep after birth.
This brings me to one of the ultimate healing tools – music. I love rock music. I discovered it in high school. Knowing what I know now about the rocking back and forth, I can understand why a multitude of people, including myself, rhythmically rock back and forth when we listen to this music. Aside from that, music has always had a way to put into words emotions that I often could not. Sound and vibration has a healing effect on us.
Yoga is an integral part of my healing from anxiety. I have been able to learn how to practice disengaging from my mental monkey chatter and be more present. It is a daily practice and being a yoga student for the last 6 years has been fruitful. Coupled with that is meditation – the process of breathing and turning my gaze inward. Meditation helps to relax me and clear my mind, returning to my breath. It has helped me figure out complex emotions and situations, and has aided in studying and confronting depression.
The concept of using my hands to heal others has always been of interest to me. Learning about Reiki and going on to receive attunements resonated deeply with me. Reiki, the word, is Japanese. The two Japanese kanji that it is written in means ‘spiritual energy’. Reiki is a simple and natural method of spiritual healing and self-improvement that everyone can use if they are open to it. It is an ancient technique for stress reduction, relaxation and numerous other things. Reiki is transmitted by a “laying on of hands” and is based on the idea that “life force energy” flows through us and is what causes us to be alive. If one’s “life force energy” is low, then we are more likely to get sick or feel stress, and if it is high, we are more capable of being happy and healthy. Reiki aids in restoring the vitality of one’s life force energy for overall well-being. I use Reiki to balance my chakras and my emotions. I find that placing my hands vibrating with soothing healing energy on my stomach and heart, my anxiety eases as I focus on my breath.
The Wisdom Wheel is a cousin in the great family of the worlds’ wheels. It is related to North and South American medicine wheels, the Hindu chakravartin ‘wheel of law’ and the Chinese lo pan compasses. It is an 1,000 Day Journey. Cynthia Davidson developed the Wisdom Wheel after a long career in global management development and executive education. Each Wisdom Wheel is created with 36 stones. The 36 words on these stones represent Universal Laws, also known as Natural and/or Spiritual Laws. Together they identify the common ground of values which unite all cultures, creeds and countries. Meditating and writing about each law and the daily wisdom I receive from Cynthia’s journals (sent in subscription form to my email) has helped deepen my understanding of Self. Getting to know my Self better and better has meant understanding what triggers and causes my anxiety.
During my time at Casa Atabex Ache, I was introduced to the technique of emotional release work. In a nutshell, it is the concept that to be able to heal deeply from internalized oppression and trauma, we must release it from our physical bodies. Doing this work helped to shake up and unblock things that I learned to face. It was because of my work there that I began going to therapy. I noticed that speaking about my thoughts and emotions aided in making me present to how my trauma has manifested. Talking out my anxiety has also helped reduce it, so I enjoy my therapy sessions and utilize them as a way to get the angst out.