This is the book I've been reading by John Bradshaw. I'm only partially through and I will always say when I recommend or mention a book: take what resonates, leave the rest behind although be curious about what is dissonant or what invokes reaction. This book was recommended by a dear friend and it's put many puzzle pieces in place about my childhood, my relationships and a more recent conflict. It seems shame has been binding me for years and fear others finding out my dirty little secret has kept it in place - in fact I've been carrying it with me in the form of a small grey cloud that has been with me ever since I was very young. I never fully understood it but it was a heaviness in my system that felt similar to depression, but I never understood where it came from or what the story was - until now.
I'm going to speak about my childhood, my parents and experiences I've had with different people along my path (no names or specifics). I will do my best to only speak about things that are mine to speak on, my feelings and acknowledging this is only my perspective, there are always two sides to every story and I do NOT wish to shame anyone in return for the shame I felt or feel currently.
This writing and sharing is about ME taking responsibility for ME, not blaming any one or any one situation. I am in fact incredibly grateful for these lessons.
Speaking specifically of my childhood: I've already done a lot of healing with regards to my relationship with my parents and experiences that happened in my youth. As Bradshaw mentions in his book: Unfortunately as children the things that imprint on us the deepest are usually the times when our parents are struggling as well as when their own shame may be coming out based on their belief systems, religion or upbringing. Passing the shame from generation to generation.
For any parents out there currently reading this: YOU ARE AMAZING. Period. I can only imagine the personal trials, challenges, patience, resilience and endurance it takes to raise another being, while you yourself are also growing and changing. Thank you for doing what you do. You are doing the best you can each and every day. For those who are going to one day be parents, myself included, this doesn't mean we need to figure out how to do it perfectly - it's just going to happen anyway, we WILL mess up. We sometimes say and do the wrong things - in any situation. Don't let fear of failure or mistakes bind you. THIS is what I'm unraveling. The power of owning your mistakes and saying your sorry is so powerful to a child.
Speaking of my own parents: I love them both deeply - I hold them with the utmost respect, knowing they provided and loved me in the best way they could with the tools they had and as I've grown I see them more as the humans they are in all their messy brilliance - I can love and cherish that always. I also sincerely appreciate all the other people, lessons and challenges I've had in my life up to this point as they brought me HERE with you.
Part One: Toxic Shame Imprint
There are three main events in my life that triggered this sensation of deep shame. While there have been others when I felt immense shame I'll just speak on these three through a three part series, but it should be noted that all the other major or minor instances in which I've felt shame came bubbling to the surface after this most recent incident. So I felt I was drowning in the shame of my childhood, past failed relationships and present conflicts moving me into a state of near immobilization and isolation. But I didn't fully realize what was happening in my system until I began reading this book and unraveling my own shame story.
In my interpretation of Bradshaw's book, between the ages of 1-3 a child is pushing boundaries, saying no, being defiant and resisting anything and everything. Thus the term "terrible twos". (Please read his book for further definition of the stages of growth in a child). In a toxic shame household the child is being told it is "bad" or "wrong" for simply carrying out this childhood process of growth. Put on top of that conservative religious principles and beliefs of "sparing the rod, spoil the child" or "children should be seen and not heard" as well as the belief of inherit sinfulness we're born into as humans, not to mention women, aka Eve, being the temptress - well it's a toxic shame fest. There is a tampering of any sense of self or identity. Put on top of that the need for children to have healthy mirroring from a parent or caregiver in order to create or feel identity. Then if a parent or caregiver is absent, emotionally detached, unavailable for interaction and/or attention the child is then left with very little sense of self as they grow. The imprint bottom line: there is something wrong or "bad" about you for simply being who you are as a child.
Sometime around the age of 12 or 13, as I was reaching puberty, my father was triggered by something I said or did and had (from my perspective) a verbal/emotional break down. My mother and I became the forced space holders - being told not to speak. Only being able to sit and listen as he unraveled all his fears and concerns about me. Who I was becoming as a person, my character, my spoiled attitude, my disrespect, my lack of being part of the family, etc. Apparently there were other people who voiced concern about this to my father as well - which he mentioned. Essentially he was telling me who and what I was. Then setting some hard rules about working for the family business when I was not in school and my mother no longer being able to buy things, toiletries, etc for me. I'd have to earn my keep so to speak.
I sat for 3 hours listening to this, crying and watching my mother cry in silence. Looking back I can see this scenario with immense compassion for my father. He was clearly very distraught, worried about the integrity of his daughter, her soul and her life. Perhaps even questioning his own actions as a father. I have no doubt some of the things he said were in fact true - that I was being disrespectful and probably ungrateful. I feel immense compassion for my mother, for whatever fear, shame, and guilt she may have felt during and after that situation. I also, and most importantly, feel immense compassion for that young girl who was just being a prepubescent teen, pushing against rules and structure, who was also struggling with depression, being a highly emotional child, empathic and completely lost in her own world as she slowly was shifting into becoming a woman. From my perspective, much of this completely unknown or unrealized by my father or even perhaps my mother - no one asked what I was feeling or struggling with internally before or after this incident. I certainly didn't realize what was happening.
This shame situation imprinted on me that:
1.) There is something inherently wrong with me.
2.) I am a bad person.
3.) I have poor character.
4.) I have a lack of respect and integrity.
5.) Other people know it and see it too - not just my father.
Again imprinting that I am inherently a "bad" person simply for being me, a young teen.
WHEW... yup that's a lot and it's heavy. Take a few deep breaths. Again - no blaming or shaming my parents. This isn't really about them, but me unraveling my own patterns and wounds. Finding the root wound and finding freedom from there.
Needless to say from this point on I held immense anger towards both parents. Feeling completely abandoned and itching to get out of the house ASAP. Internalizing my pain, shame and anger, under which was deep grief and sadness - feeling utterly alone, lost and sure there was something very f*cked up about me. So I spent years covering that "ugly" part of me. Being the nice girl, putting on a smile, listening to everyone else, holding the space, not speaking up much, always holding the fear that if anyone got too close or if anyone REALLY got to know me - they'd see that ugly self, all those things my father said I was and all of my shame. All of this was a pretty sub or unconscious effort.
I moved into being a full on "man hater" so to speak in my late teens and early twenties - it obviously leaked into relationships showing up as resentment and anger towards partners - even without reason. Inevitably choosing men who were emotionally detached and unable to connect similar to my father. Always "needing" from men but never really getting what my heart desired. Nor even ever fully opening my heart to partners. Even in friendships, never fully allowing my true self to come forward. Becoming angry at girl friends because I often felt unseen or heard, not because of them, but because I never fully shared or showed up. Ending friendships because I didn't know how to communicate my needs or even feelings, let alone even knowing what I needed to begin with. Then feeling immense shame for not being a good friend. At one point feeling like I just should not be friends with people because I inevitably hurt them. And the cycle continued in varying ways throughout my twenties and even early thirties.
Even as an adult who has unraveled and healed a lot of this painful past throughout the years, I always felt a weird sense of not wanting people to see "who I really am" - I wasn't even sure why or where it was coming from. I also never really knew fully who I was. I always felt a bit lost and unsure - like I couldn't fully connect to my core essence. Even now it takes everything in me to really feel into what I truly want and who I am in any given moment. I am just now putting together all these puzzle pieces and bringing breath into these unconscious patterns. While sometimes I feels quite terrifying it honestly now feels more like freedom. I know there is a path ahead, which will undoubtedly uncover more but in this moment it feels more exciting than daunting... who AM I? what ARE my deepest desires? what IS my heart longing for? what DO I want in this moment? and the next? who are the people I choose to open my heart to? what will happen when I do? how will this deepen my connection to others and creating community? my curiosity is peaked. Anything feels possible!!
...and in this moment I choose ME.
I choose to open my heart to me.
To really show up for me.
To take off the masks for me.
To let go of the security blanket and facades for me.
To be brave and courageous for me.
To be tender and compassionate for me.
To deepen my self awareness for me.
To love me.
As I am.
Shadows, mistakes, wounds, failures and all.
Because in doing that
I'm also loving the brilliant, radiant, messy, beautiful human that is me.
I have always struggled with the term "self-love". At times it even angered me. It felt like a term just thrown around the spiritual or self help community, sometimes flippantly, but what did it REALLY mean and how do you REALLY feel it in your system??
I feel like I'm finally starting to understand... and FEEL it.
Thank you for witnessing my process. My deepest desire in this moment is that my sharing inspires, invites reflection and/or leads to putting some of your puzzle pieces into place. Part Two of this series will be coming when the time aligns. We will see how this shame fest was triggered later in my life and what led to the ultimate unraveling of this long, twisted pattern and story - placing me on the path to freedom and self actualization.
With deep love and gratitude,
Take a moment.
What does your body feel like in this moment?
What is the first thing you notice?
What does your breath feel like?
I invite you to use your breath and that tactile sensation to connect to this present moment. To connect to the chair or bed you're sitting on.
To come fully into the room you're in.
To come fully IN to your body.
What do you notice now?
Throughout my eight years as a massage therapist. I've noticed one similarity in most of the clients I work with (including myself). We are constantly operating OUT of body. We are in our heads. We are operating in the past or in the future. We are operating within the stories we create. Our energy bodies are OUT of our physical bodies, maybe by a few inches or a few feet. I realized this first hand during an energy session with a local chiropractor a number of years ago, but nothing quite like my experience with tobacco in the jungles of Peru brought me fully and completely IN to my body.
The brain loves loops. A pattern starts and the brain eagerly goes into autopilot. At some point we get stressed, move into fight or flight response and our muscles contract - getting ready to take action or protect. This is incredibly useful during certain situations where finding safety is imperative but what about when that response gets triggered during a stressful day at work? during a hard conversation with a spouse? during a tough time in life when hard decisions need to be made? A death? A birth? Driving to work in traffic? The problem then lies in the fact that we are often stressed (in varying degrees) ALL the time, without even realizing it. The muscles contract and often just stay contracted all the time. A constant feedback loop to the brain. It sometimes isn't until I touch a client and begin a massage that they say:
"Wow, I've been holding my breath!"
"I didn't realize how my sore my neck, back or body was until you touched it."
"I can't or I have a hard time relaxing my body."
Then what do we do with all that build up of stress? What do we do to numb out or disassociate from ourselves? What do we eat or drink? What activities or patterns do we repeat in order to simply cope or survive? To NOT feel what it is to be IN this body? Because it's too uncomfortable, too painful and too overwhelming. And what about all the external stresses all of us in western society deal with on a regular basis due to all the over stimulation of our nervous systems: through social media, obsessive amounts of screen time, news, politics, fear based media, simply NOISE, and so much more. Constant stimulation. Our systems are constantly trying to regulate. Our systems and bodies are also trying to get our attention. Sometimes its a gentle whisper, sometimes a bang over the head.
Are we going to listen?
The humbling thing to admit is: this is me too. Yup, me the massage therapist. Me the Breathwork Facilitator. Me the human. Perhaps you've heard the quote by Richard Bach: "You teach best what you most need to learn."
Over these last two years of my life as I've gone through some major life changes and I've realized first hand how stress builds up and shows up in my system. How it drains my vitality and effects my body in an incredibly tactile way. Even when I don't "feel" stressed, how it's actually still running on autopilot in the background of my system. How pushing myself to be better, do better and know better was in fact even a stress.
In October of 2017 I went into the Amazon jungle of Peru to do a deep personal immersion and work with plant medicines. One of the plants I worked with was Tobacco. This is an incredibly healing and sacred plant for many indigenous cultures. The Shaman we were working with came from a lineage of healers who had a sacred connection with tobacco and started any plant medicine work with a tobacco cleanse.
Our full first morning in the jungle we skipped breakfast and went straight to the Maloca where the ceremony was to take place. The Shaman opened the space, started the ceremony and handed each of us a "World's Best Mom" mug full of a tea which had been made of tobacco leaves, a bit of Nescafe and sugar - which was supposed to help the taste. We were to drink the entire thing! Even in this moment I shudder and cringe to think of the taste and sensation in my body as I gulped it down. I remember feeling proud of myself - I did it! that wasn't so bad. My stomach was turning and my body was responding but it was doable. Then came the second mug full...
Needless to say my body went into a full body purge of EVERYTHING. I could feel things releasing that I had eaten years ago. Not only physical things, but I felt a purging of energies and emotions. I wept. I felt immense fear. My body shook and I went from hot to cold to hot. I had to place my hands under my tail bone to stay fully present and fully IN my body. My mantra was "Be here now". I just kept repeating it over and over. It would have been the perfect time to in fact leave my body - but I stayed. In a way I have never done before. I felt all the ugly, the uncomfortable, the lies and the truth of what I constantly did to myself, to my body, to my being, to my own heart - whether conscious or unconscious throughout my entire life. The ways I pushed myself, forced myself, neglected myself, rejected myself, contained myself and put myself last. I wanted to scream like I'd never screamed before. I felt such a rage and incredible deep grief all in one. What had I done to this sacred body? What was I doing to this temple that houses my spirit?
I could feel the connection/energy of the people and places which cultivated the foods I had eaten throughout my life. The hands through which it had passed. The sun or the rain that had effected that plant. The soil it had been in. The store in which I bought it or the restaurant. The energy of the hands which prepared it. It was overwhelming. And no, there where no psychedelics or additives involved in the ceremony - just tobacco. I felt the immensity of how everything in our environments affects our systems. Sound. Smell. Sight.
At the end of the ceremony the Shaman did an energetic healing with each of us individually then sent us back to our Tambo (the place where we slept). I felt incredibly weak and delirious but I still had contained this scream. As I left the Maloca I spoke with one of the assistants about this need to scream - she encouraged me to leave it with the jungle. I was blessed to be in a Tambo that was nestled deep in the jungle, away from most of the rest of the facility, about 1/4-1/2 a mile away. As I hiked back I felt the weight of my body, my feet on the earth and I screamed... I screamed until my voice was raspy. I felt the jungle listening and holding me. Then I wept like I'd never done before. This was no longer grief but immense joy and connection. I felt free. I felt there was no separation between me and the trees, the plants or even the air around me. Everything was connected. I felt immense love for this beautiful being that was me. It was absolutely incredible. I felt grounded but light as if a huge weight had been lifted. I began singing to the trees as tears began to flow.... this is what it was to feel whole, free and INbodied: an integrated spirit and physical form, connected to all that is in this world we know and beyond.
I am humbled and deeply thankful to Tobacco for this eye and body opening experience.
So where am I at now? Do I have some ideal diet or regimented life style? Do I constantly control my environment and the people I surround myself with? Do I always make the "right" choice?
But I make more aware and aligned choices. My body and spirit will longer "let" me be on autopilot.
The real medicine and journey started when I returned back to my life here in Washington. It was putting into practice what I had learned about my body and my being. It started with being more gentle with ME. Not pushing so hard. Not having such harsh expectations. Making aware and conscious choices instead of simply living in patterns and old routines. If an old pattern comes up and I reach for a numbing mechanism - first ask myself why? do I really want to? and if I go for it. I simply live it. Accept my humanness. Not beat myself up. I notice how my body physically feels throughout my day. I connect to my breath. I speak and listen to my heart more regularly. What is she desiring? What is she trying to share with me? Am I pushing? Am I holding? Am I here.. in this moment?
To me, this is what it is to be INbodied.
It's not about some perfect meditation practice or yoga regiment or workout routine or constantly being happy or eating a perfect diet or doing regular self care. But to simply be here now. Take one step at a time. One breath at a time - consciously and notice the difference. Act with awareness and compassion towards ones self and others. We are all doing the best we can, moment to moment. Day to day. We have a choice every day - how do you want live THIS moment? IN this body?
Just another human finding her way.
It's interesting... I've tried to write this post multiple times this year, but couldn't quite find the words. Now it seems to be time as I reflect on what was happening this exact day last year:
November 29, 2017.
I was on Thanksgiving break, taking a road trip with my brother, Tyler, around the peninsula. This particular day I walked from our Airbnb down to the coffee house in Port Angeles, Washington. When I arrived I decided to call my husband to check in. I remember turning around and seeing this view of the Olympic Mountains.
He proceeded to have one of the most honest conversations with me about his life, struggles and desires. It was a fairly short, simple, yet heart felt share. I felt honored to hear and witness. I thanked him, we hung up. I went in to the coffee shop, got a coffee and muffin, then walked back to the place I was staying.
After checking out, my brother and I drove over to the Elwha River Valley just west of Port Angeles. Neither of us had been there and it was absolutely beautiful! A gushing river, beautiful trees, a waterfall and the light in the sky was magnificent. We noticed the road to go further up the valley was closed, which seemed odd as there wasn't snow around. Tyler and I decided to walk behind the barrier and check it out. About a mile up we were greeted with the most incredible site. The river was raging! It had split into multiple paths and days before had taken everything in it's way. We walked closer, over a remaining bridge and into an area that had clearly been completely covered. The road was buckled and wavy. The mud and silt was thick on everything. The picnic benches were nearly covered. The energy and vibration of that area was tactile. It felt immense and powerful! It was a little unnerving, but we continued walking. The rushing water got louder and seemed to be on all sides of us.
We then realized the road ahead was completely washed out. Gone. Now the river was running through it.
This was the end of the road.
My heart sank.
What I didn't yet share was that this exact same experience had happened TWICE before in the last three days. Once as we were trying to drive to the Staircase Trail head, out by Lake Cushman. Once as we were driving to Port Angeles on 101, past Lake Crescent, (thankfully this had already been on the mend, so we could get across through a narrow makeshift road). And now this was the third complete road wash out.
What is the saying about if you see three signs of similar substance you better be paying attention?? Hmm.. well I do often pay attention when "signs" or synchronicity happens, but I usually take it with a grain of salt. We see what we want to see, yes? Or perhaps it's my inner skeptic. But to those of you who have experienced this, you will know - this was such a visceral sensation in my body. The knowing of change.
Unavoidable, Life altering - Change.
I wasn't 100% sure what or when, but I knew. It was a terrifying, unnerving feeling, the rest of the day I was riddled with anxiety.
Three days later my husband and I came to the mutual decision to get a divorce.
It was December 2, 2017.
To be honest this "change" was one of many that have been happening since 2016. In these last two years my business changed, my clients and friends shifted, my home situation changed, my relationship changed, my relationship to love itself, my connection to myself: my body, my energy, my awareness, my desires have all changed. And I know this period of change is not yet complete. Perhaps it will never be "complete" but this deep shedding, grieving, processing, going to the depths hopefully won't last too much longer. It has been incredibly humbling. Eye opening. Soul expanding. Through this process I've begun coming back home to me, my truest essence, my heart. Finding my authenticity and my truth. All while clearing a bright path for the way forward - shifting the way I show up for myself, my community, my family, my relationships and the world community as a whole.
I've always been a seeker and perhaps I always will be, but in this moment I know I have found what I've been searching for. It's been within me all along. It had just gotten covered by stories and beliefs that weren't mine or ones that I had held on to for safety and no longer served me. It was covered by my efforts to please others for fear of hurting, upsetting or most importantly... not being loved if I followed my own path.
A truth I've struggled with all my life: as a trailblazer and truth seeker you have to be okay with upsetting people or rubbing them the wrong way.
Hello - this is me.
Trailblazer. Lover. Medicine Woman. Light bringer. Light bearer. Traveler both in Earthly & Cosmic plains. Spiritual. Artist. Dancer. Starseed. Empath. Healer. Guide. Earth Warrior & Guardian. Goddess. Truth Seeker. Human. Mother.
I am incredibly grateful for this life, this body, this breath, this never ending soul and this human experience. The challenges, the tears, the grief, the heartache, the loss, and the friends, the family, the unknown ones who assisted me on this path. Whether through support or challenge I'm grateful for them both. For the love, the beauty, the joy, the simplicity, the awe, the magic, the power, and the gifts I've been shown amidst this journey - I am forever thankful.
Change is unavoidable - it is a constant. But when you truly call in life change and take the leap - change is what you get. Perhaps not in the way you dreamed or intended or prayed for it. But it will happen. And it will be the most challenging, heart breaking, beautiful, magical, unexpected and heart expanding thing you do in your entire life. Be ready to surrender. Come to your knees. Pray like you've never prayed before. But you won't regret it.
These are all energy. Energy must go somewhere. Energy doesn't disappear. Even if it's bottled for years - one day it will release. It will move. It will take on forms of its own. So how do you wish you navigate your energy shifts and releases? How do you wish to navigate change? What do you wish to create? Are YOU really ready for your entire life to change?
I humbly ask: Will you join me?
Are you ready to break free from your cocoon? We, humanity, need you to come back home to yourself. To remember why you came here. Now. Not tomorrow or next year or when it's more convenient. This world is burning and drowning around us. Families are being pulled apart. Atrocities on humanity continue to happen. Entire species and ecosystems are completely disappearing. We need change NOW and we all have a part. No matter how big or small. Even the smallest pebble creates a ripple. But you don't have to do it alone. We can go through this transformation TOGETHER.
There is no one way - I definitely do not claim to know your path or have the answers. Raising awareness, being mindful, healing your heart, sharing your gifts and/or shedding light for your own path ahead doesn't mean you have to be spiritual or religious or new age or anything. It's simply about coming back home to YOU. The YOU you were before fear set in, before restriction and "adulthood" set in, before the should's and should not's, before you felt unsafe, before you were told you can't, before you were told you should be something or someone else, before someone else's story became yours. But the YOU you return to will be all that was before and more... because the challenges, wisdom and lessons you've learned along the way. It's like meeting the 2.0 version of yourself!
I know many of you are already in the midst of big or small shifts. If you desire someone to walk with you or to shed some light as needed - I'm here. If you have no idea what I'm taking about, yet you feel led to reach out - I'm here. If this resonates even the smallest amount - I'm here. And I'd be honored to be of service.
I love you,
Terri Lynn Hays
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Hello dear ones,
I have begun a sacred, healing journey to the depths of the Amazon Rainforest. The moment I signed up for this adventure the transformation, purging, healing began (unofficially 2 weeks ago, officially I put in my deposit last night!) I can only imagine what's in store once I set foot in this beautiful, wild country.
It's come to my awareness that part of my journey is asking for assistance from my community and being open to fully recieve.
So I humbly ask for your blessing - whether by:
*a financial offering (See below - Go Fund Me)
*words of wisdom
as I embark on this sacred journey to
Iquitos, Peru (October 1-11, 2017).
Throughout history when one left the family, community or tribe to embarked on a journey it was for the healing of the entire group. Everyone was involved and had a part to play not only with the preparation and initial journey but also with what transpired once the traveler returned. I feel this truth and connection to each of you deep in my bones.
My deepest desire and soul calling is to be of service for not only humanity but great Mother Earth. I don't yet know all the details of how that is to be, but I feel very called to continue being a lightbearer, space holder and wayshower of awakening.
I know I'm also being drawn into more of a leadership role, holding more sacred gatherings - for all beings, as well as sharing and offering healing through my voice - whether that be through my literal voice or through writing.
All of this excites and terrifies me, but I can no longer resist the calling.
This sacred journey to Peru is to assist me in my own healing so that I may show up with even more integrity, truth and clarity of heart. Grounding into my deepest essence and light to more fully serve my community, family and the world. It is also to assist in healing deep ancestral wounds within my lineage and shedding layers of old stories that no longer serve us.
The world: all beings and dear Mother Earth need ALL of us to come together to make the changes that are so desperately needed.
I will be hiking 3 miles into the Amazon Rainforest outside of Iquitos, Peru with a small group of like minded souls. Everything needed for our 8 day stay on our backs. We will be staying at The Chakra Alegria de Amor - Rainforest Healing Center - rustic yet beautiful accommodations, no running water or electricity (accept in the kitchen/dining space) and everything has been created with a great respect for the forest surrounding. I will also be partaking in plant medicine to assist my journey and healing on a cellular level. Nothing about this trip is luxurious or simple - it's going to be work, deep soul level work - rooting out and purging what is no longer in resonance with my soul's path.
What's the Money for?
The $1100.00 I'm trying to raise is to assist in paying for my plane ticket and lodging/food on my way to/from Peru. My totally costs are approximately $5500.00, which include my financial responsibilities at home and I will be working in every way possible to cover it all!
If you'd like to give: www.gofundme.com/terrilynnperry
My deadline for these funds is August 31st.
I am deeply grateful for whatever you give, no blessing is too small. I am incredibly grateful for this experience of surrender, trust, asking, receiving, and BELIEVING in my capacity to make this a reality. I even feel so very grateful for the discomforts and lessons they continue to bring up. Thank you and blessings to each and everyone of you.
With deep gratitude and love,
Short story on the power of intention. In the first few months of 2016 my husband and I hit a pretty major crossroad both personally and professionally. We knew there was no longer any other option than to create HUGE change in our lives. Utilizing talk therapy, a combined yoga practice/date night every Wednesday, among other things, we underwent massive breakdown of old habits - one of which was not being honest. Not only with one another, but ourselves about what we really wanted in our lives, both individually and as a couple. I think most of you who are married or are in long term commitments know - this is no easy task!
When did we start lying to ourselves about what we really wanted out of life?? When did we start living someone else's story?
In April 2016 we started talking about the ways we wanted to begin living our dream life NOW. And here was the basic gist:
-Financial Freedom (getting out of debt)
-Lynn: shift private practice in some way
-Zach: change jobs or start own business
-Lynn: travel abroad and feed artistic side
-Zach: have a woodworking studio/free time to build
-Have a more fun/adventurous partnership
-Create the home we really want or move
-Feeling like we had TIME to do the things we really wanted
-Make vacation a way of life - not something to do only when we're burnt out once/year
While we differed on whether it was a list of "intentions" or simply a list of goals, I marked the start date in our online calendar - April 1, 2017 - "Time to Start a New Life". This in my mind was the deadline - or perhaps birth date in this case. If all else failed I felt we should quit our jobs, sell everything and become nomads.
Fast forward through a challenging 2016 - full of many peaks and valleys, accomplishments and struggle. It's the end of February 2017, I'm again looking at my online calendar and typing some appointments into April when I notice what I wrote... every day that month. Then it hit me.....
HOLY SHIT!!! Every intention we had set had come true or was coming true and then some!
This weekend my husband and I agreed wholeheartedly it really did FEEL like a whole new life had begun. AND now seeing it every day on our calendar has brought a whole new sense of excitement to our daily lives. While there are still things to accomplish..... it's happening!!!!!!!
Moral of the story: The power of aligning your life with the truth of your heart and soul's purpose- works! Seriously.
I'm thrilled with all the new shifts happening not only within Esoteria but at Sound Wellness! These shifts benefit me, YOU and our community.
I've also included upcoming Breath Circle dates at the bottom of this page - with one coming up this Sunday the 12th from 6-7:30pm. Come try it out! No experience necessary, just an open curiosity and a willingness to receive.
I just completed Acutonics®: Level 1 two weekends ago. It was such a powerful learning experience and it's a perfect addition to my bodywork sessions. For more information about Acutonics®, the use of tuning forks and sound healing visit this link.
I need your assistance. I'm already integrating this new work into my sessions, but I'd like even more practice. I am gifting 30 minute Acutonics® sessions for the month of March to each of you. All I ask in return is your time and honest feedback.
The use of tuning forks in a session can assist in: breaking up scar tissue, chronic or recent muscle aches/pains, energy balance, sleep, stress reduction, migraines or headaches, increase relaxation and much more. This is a very tactile experience and you will feel shifts almost immediately to your physical system as the frequencies and vibrations resonate throughout. Our bodies are about 70% water. Water is a great conductors of sound. Essentially we're using sound to massage your system from deep within.
If you have questions or you'd like to sign up please call or text me directly at 206-619-2976. I look forward to hearing from you!
As a business owner there is something so very satisfying about having your name on the door, sign or in this instance a window decal. For me this is a first! This week mine was placed on my office window and it truly tickled my heart. It feels like the cherry on top after spending the last few months creating and cultivating this new sacred space. My greatest desire is that it's the "sign" of a tender new sprout springing out of the earth from some deeply rooted intentions.
I would love your presence, to bring even more energy and vitality to the space at Sound Wellness's upcoming open house. This is a wonderful time to also meet my colleagues and learn more about what they are offering: Acupuncture, Craniosacral Reflexology and Esthetics. Sound Wellness at Smyth Landing will be hosting monthly (third week) events, starting this month with an open house, then beginning in March we will begin hosting local wellness professionals. More information below.
I sincerely hope to see you there!
My deepest wish is that this note finds you transitioning into the new year with more ease, grace and love in your hearts.
I am personally finding great comfort in the spaciousness I'm feeling as I move into 2017. The "to do list" seems to be disappearing when I'm in flow and allowing space - tasks are easy, enjoyable and finish quicker when I wait for the right time to do them rather than pushing "to just get it done" (This one is still an ongoing practice. ha!). I've been finding a new delight in cooking, specifically soups that I've never had before - finding meditation in the chopping of vegetables and allowing the aromas to permeate deep into my being.
It hasn't all been peaceful days of comfy bliss - I've also had days of wrestling with my demons - doubt, guilt, anger, and fear is always the big one. There are a lot of unknowns in my world at the moment, but here are a few things that have helped me during these moments of struggle.
1.) Allowing Creative Flow - I recently went to an Intuitive Painting Group in Tacoma and it blew my mind! To step into a space where your heart and breath are the leaders (Reminds me of the Breath Circles - nudge, nudge). There was no lack of abundance and no judgement neither positive or negative. It was meditative painting where no thought was involved - just a constant question to the heart - "whats next?" Allowing the mind to take a back seat and the heart to lead. Wouldn't it be wonderful if this was a daily existence? It's very freeing to create with wild abandon, making a mess, all while laughing and sometimes crying at what comes forth.
2,) Get Outside! (or at least look outside) - yes it's rainy and cold, but there is something that makes me feel so alive when I bundle up, rain gear on, and go for a walk - feeling that brisk air enter my lungs, the cold wind on my cheeks, hearing the trees sing and seeing them sway in the breeze. The simply act of walking moves so much energy in my system. Then of course the deliciousness of coming home to the warmth and perhaps a hot cup of tea. Even on the days when I can't work up the nerve to brave the weather outside (which has been this last week) it's been so nourishing to simply sit in a chair by the window and bask in the glow of the moonlight. It's been a brilliant one these last few days, even amidst the clouds!
3.) Just Be - this is a hard one for me, but the more I can sit with it, the more I see how it affects my life in very profound ways. I've pushed and pulled most of my life. It can be unnerving to simply be - agitating actually, especially when it can feel like there is so much "to do". It can be hard to listen to my heart when I'm out doing errands and I "just have one more", but my system is done. Or I have a preconceived notion what I will get accomplished in a day and nothing seems to get done, in fact the list gets longer, WHAT?!?. But in those moments of low energy, stress, annoyance, etc - stopping what I'm doing to take a little nap or just sit down for a while, close my eyes and breath - really feel into my body, my system, and simply being quiet - really helps.
A quote from the book Making Space by Thich Nhat Hanh:
"Often we tell ourselves "Don't just sit there, DO something!" But when we practice awareness, we discover that the opposite may be more helpful: "Don't just do something, SIT there!"
Sending Love and Light,
As many of you know September was my last month at The Massage Place. It was a beautiful space to grow both personally and professionally these last five years, but as I stepped more boldly into living my soul's purpose - I was led to take a giant leap of faith that would not only change my work, but my LIFE.
When I gave my notice at the end of August I had no idea what the next step would be. Would I continue in the massage therapy field? Would I find a whole new line of work? Would I take an indefinite amount of time off to figure out what was next? how would I finance this transition time? Would I be traveling abroad sooner than expected? Would I take more courses or get another license? Would I even continue living in Olympia??
As I moved through September - getting closer closer to my last day - the questions continued, both within my own mind and from others. I was in free fall.
At times I felt a deep sense of empowerment, excitement and adventure, while others I was left overwhelmed and riddled with fear of the unknown.
While I still didn't have answers regarding where I was going to land next and what I was going to do - In mid September during an amazing, soul opening session with the dear Amanda Lux of Earth in Heart, it became clear that I was to shatter the box that I had so carefully put myself in. Shatter the fear, the control, the walls of protection and open to vulnerability, deep self-love and my true self - in all it's perfect imperfection.
No small task! Where was I to begin???
I knew I'd be taking most of October off to figure out what was next and that an open ended road trip was in my near future. October 1st (the new moon) I packed my car and headed south, but to my dismay excitement was replaced with stress - where was I to go? where was I to stay? was I going the right direction? what if I missed something important? The onslaught of questions and the unknown was all too familiar. My shoulders tensed, a headache started and anger came boiling to the top. What the hell was I doing?? In that moment I almost turned around and came home.
But I continued on - heading south on I-5, rain pouring, I sat with both the physical and emotional discomforts I was feeling - curiously asking about all that was coming to the top. With the help of deep breathing, a phone call with a friend and a break in the rain, I began to find some moments of clarity as well as a place to sleep for the night: Beacon Rock State Park. As darkness settled in I found a great place to set up camp under two beautiful, towering Douglas Firs. Tent set up, fire crackling, and hot soup in my belly - I looked upward through the trees to the twinkling stars above and let out a sigh of complete contentment.
In that moment I new with absolute clarity that I was exactly where I was meant to be and I was moving in the right direction - even if the end result was unknown.
For the next four days I would continue my road trip - winding east along the Columbia River Gorge, then south through the Willamette National Forest (Central Cascades), stopping to stay at Breitenbush Hot Springs a few days, then continuing on to Bend, Oregon. All the while my mind and spirit winding in and out of complete freedom/faith to anxiety/fear, then back again. Along the way witnessing nature's limitless, wild beauty and meeting many beautiful beings whose stories touched my heart and strengthened my trust in the journey. Inevitably it all pointed me back home to you - much sooner than expected - with renewed clarity, purpose and vision.
Most of October I sat with the unknown (some days easier than others). A few days before the 1st of November it became clear that I was to began renting space at the beautiful Smyth Landing on West Bay Drive (yes, right on the water!)
Within the building is a new space and group of holistic practitioners called Sound Wellness. It has been a dream of mine to work with a variety of wellness professionals in a space brimming with vision, possibility and new creation - I just never thought it would happen so early in my career! The rest of November I spent creating my space - my sanctuary - grounding even more deeply into my heart and the new work I was to offer you.
During my trip it became clear that my work was to undergo a deep transformation. My early training and work was strongly based in the physical/treatment oriented side of bodywork - more or less Deep Tissue Massage and Treatment Sessions. If someone had an ache or pain - we looked for a solution - dare I say I tried to "fix" the problem area. At times this would work with great success while others left me dumbfounded, even frustrated - like I was beating my head (or hands) against a wall.
There was a lot of force and determination involved in my first 5 years of practice - not bad qualities to have as you're starting a business, but it took it's toll - physically, energetically and emotionally. I realized not only was I wearing myself out quickly, but I was resting back into what was known, easy and safe. In short, I was not practicing in a way that served our highest good, both you - the client or me - the practitioner. And the passion I once had for my work was dwindling as well.
As my work began to progress over the years, my personal awareness of my own being deepened and my awareness of the entire human system expanded. Not only was I feeling the physical aspect of one's being, but sometimes the energetic, emotional and/or spiritual sides as well. This was a struggle for me - what do I do with this information? How does this fit in with physical bodywork or healing in general? How can I work more holistically while maintaining my own integrity, ethics and clarity? How can I assist in creating lasting change, instead of momentary relief?
What is "healing" anyway??
These are questions I still ask and continue studying about, but for now I realized I don't need to have all the answers. I'm realizing the more self work I do - by strengthening my personal practice, deepening my self awareness and self love, healing my own wounds, and clearing/balancing my energy fields on a regular basis then all that comes through is pure love - the ultimate healer.
The more I lean into the unknown, trust the process and simply LISTEN - deeply listen - to each human system that I encounter the more things naturally begin to unwind and find balance again. It's as if coming back to the body and heart - allowing space for breath and inward focus - moves energy once more to those spaces of dis-ease. By going within, we find our hearts, our POWER and the grace to transform - possibly even AWAKEN to find our authentic selves.
During a time when our world is so full of fear, violence, never ending struggle and chaos it's hard to know where to begin or how we can make a difference. I've been told time and time again these last two months to go within, go within, go within - find that peace and unconditional love deep within your own heart - then let it permeate every cell of your being.
This allows flow instead of force, ease instead of dis-ease, response instead of reaction. and love instead of fear. The work done within your own heart will affect your family, your neighbors, your community - OUR WORLD.
Will you join me in this transformation - this time of awakening?? If so, you can start NOW by doing one small thing to nourish your own heart.
Maybe it's taking a walk. Maybe it's drawing a picture or painting with your hands. Maybe it's dancing or playing music (cranked to 11). Maybe it's playing in the dirt. Maybe it's skipping the make-up today. Maybe it's taking time to simply BE instead of DO. Maybe it's taking something (or a lot of things) off your to-do list. Maybe it's putting down your phone for the day. Maybe it's signing off Facebook for the weekend. Maybe it's calling off work and driving to the coast or the mountains. Maybe it's sitting with a friend to laugh or cry. Maybe it's saying "I love you" in the mirror. Maybe it's running through puddles or waves with wild abandon - in your shoes! Maybe it's sleeping outside in your backyard. Maybe it's gazing at the stars. Maybe it's simply breathing in this blessed moment. Maybe it's staying in bed all day. Maybe it's ______________________________________________________.
Ask yourself, "what does my heart want today"?
Today my heart wants to reach yours as I continue down this path - to touch one another's humanness - connecting in our struggle and our joy, our light and our darkness. My heart wants to feel less alone in a world full of people. My heart wants to be seen and to see YOU - in our unveiled brilliance.
"Hello" - I see you.