The garden is in full-swing here in the mid-atlantic U.S.. It’s too early for tomatoes peppers and cucumbers, but I have my hands full of all kinds of greens! Swiss chard, arugula, spicy asian salad blends, broccoli raab. One of these days I’ll figure out how not to have them all come to maturity at the same time. I will have greens coming out of my ears for the next week, for sure. My teaching partner and I hosted a Greens cooking class. Our one “student” couldn’t make it at the last minute so we cooked for ourselves. It was delicious. My new favorite recipe is quinoa with Swiss chard and chick peas. It is scented with cinnamon and orange; really brightens the palate. As far as the classes go, I figure as long as we are doing activities that we are enjoying, we can’t be too disappointed if we occasionally do them just for ourselves.
As you may know if you’ve read my earlier posts, I have been chasing symptoms of metabolic imbalance in circles for a while. Everything is tied together: hormones, digestion, stress, food sensitivities…. I have even had to keep a close watch on breast health. While I still value the earlier methods, including conventional medicine, that I have pursued, I had an eye opening experience recently I thought I’d share. It points to the common denominator in all these symptoms: stress.
Things were going well for me. As a matter of fact, I felt more energetic than I have in a long time. Circumstances lined up favorably for me to add a couple new and interesting responsibilities to my plate and I happily took them on. I felt like I’d been on a positive trajectory, but all of the sudden, old challenges of stress emerged in force. It took me a while to notice. I was eating in my car, rushing around, sweating, feeling hungry and gaining weight…all in the matter of about 4 weeks. Regardless of what I ate, if I didn’t take my time, the digestion process produced a knot of gas in my chest that was uncomfortable but familiar. I even started to clench my teeth. On the outside, I barely registered what was happening until one weekend, scheduled to the hilt, I was preparing to attend a meditation that I normally enjoy. My jeans were tight, but more than that, I was dreading yet another thing to do on my calendar. I burst into tears and cancelled everything for the day.
During the following week I scheduled an appointment with a massage therapist acquaintance of mine. I told her how stressed I was. She gave me a superlative massage, which included some CranioSacral work, specifically, a diaphragm release. I walked out of that session feeling great. Days later I was still able to breathe fully without obstruction, or the little emotional “hitch” I had become accustomed to. I felt like a better person. When I felt stress or lack of compassion, all I would have to do was to breathe deeply to access a sense of peace. That had previously not been available to me in my recent memory. Thought the therapist who worked on me has not taken the adjunct Somato Emotional Release curriculum associated with the CranioSacral classes, I clearly felt emotionally better due to the targeted work she had done to help me breathe better. Our bodies are such gifts! I believe they can help us heal trauma: from the big ones to the ones that are reinforced daily if we are frozen in a fear state from previous unresolved traumas.
This week, I started reading up on the healing of trauma. I fell sick with a bad cold, for the first time in ages. I had to clear my calendar once again. There are no paid sick days for a massage therapist. Just opportunity costs. Missing out on three and four hundred dollars this week is a fact of life, similar to paying out of pocket for medical care. Yet I am taking the time to check in with my body, and to feel what it senses and honor its service to me. I realized that perhaps, all this time, I have been pursuing the doing of what I really needed to be receiving. I wondered what my life would be like if I had allowed myself to invest in and receive healing. Now is not time to study the healing of trauma, or any other advanced massage curriculum, for the benefit of others. It is time for me to be healed. Only then can I free up the creative energy needed to share that with my clients.
About the Author...
Audrey's first love is massage. She is currently a student of energy work but is always up for a new challenge on "earth school." Audrey works part-time in the food and wine industry and is in the process of re-evaluating her relationship to food. She strives, above all, to be authentic as she finds her own way to health.