Thursday, March 19, 2015

Listening

Last night the Lenten program at St. Anne's concluded with an evening of practicing listening. Once again I was impressed with people's willingness to not only show up but to truly dig in and open up deep parts of themselves.

For multiple people who received healing in the half hour before supper each week, a theme was expectations. When I studied polarity therapy, we learned Expectation Release. This was one of the many times that I doubted energy work. I was fascinated by energy work, drawn to it — but skeptical.

According to polarity, expectations build up on our shoulders — right where most of us, including me, have muscle tension. That day in class, when it was my turn to receive the work, I released the expectations of my parents, my brothers and myself. I was shocked when I got off the table to feel how much the knots in my shoulders had released. 

My favorite part of the work is the end, when you affirm "My only expectation is to trust the truth within me."

But how do we find the truth?

One way is releasing our junk. I believe that we're born with a divine core. As we go through life, we accumulate junk around that core. My goal as a healer is to help people shed their junk so they can get closer and closer to their core, to their true beautiful self.

Another part of finding the truth is listening for it. Listening can be complicated; the voice of society's rules and the voice of our expectations can be louder than the voice that comes from our core.

It takes practice and experimentation to find what works. Sometimes it helps if I separate out the voices and examine them one by one, seeing how they feel. If I feel a sinking or a dullness, that voice is not speaking my truth. If my energy lifts, I encourage that voice to be louder.

Right now, my job is stressful. That's usually not true, working in a church, but we have a huge fundraising event next week, followed by Holy Week and Easter, the busiest time of the year. I'm working a lot. I'm stressed. I'm irritable. How do I remember to listen? How do I find time for stillness and reflection? 

For me, part of the answer is being as close to my core as possible. That voice gets louder the closer I get, and it gets louder the more it's allowed to speak.

Monday, March 16, 2015

Openness and vulnerability

Last Wednesday, the Lenten program at St. Anne's in-the-Fields was "The Sacred Art of Healing." Kate, the rector, began by giving a brief history of healing in the church. She talked about the early church's focus on mind, body and spirit and how there's a shift back towards that now. She also talked about how publicly asking for healing makes you vulnerable. "Are you willing?" she asked. "Am I willing? Am I, your priest, going to stand in front of you and admit that I have broken pieces, that I need healing?"

And the beautiful thing about Kate is that she did.

One of the interesting things about doing energy work is the difference between what someone presents to the world and what their energy says. There are parts of ourselves we emphasize and parts we try to hide away, or at least minimize. Here's a minor example. Most people think of me as pretty organized. In some ways I am, but let's not talk about my home office, that messy, sloppy, unorganized, dirty, cluttered space.

For a while, only my husband has been allowed in that room; he knows me, all of me. Somehow I don't want other people to see that piece of me, the me that is so dysfunctional that entire rooms of my house are unusable. But recently I took pictures and sent them to a friend; we were having a contest of sorts about whose office was worse. And you know what? Nothing bad happened when I showed that part of myself to a trusted friend. In fact, something good happened; she called and we laughed and argued about who won the contest.

I think the key piece there is trust. Notice I'm not posting the pics here for the whole world, trusted and untrusted, to see. I'm a work in progress.

Yet Kate opened herself to the group last Wednesday, and then again yesterday in her sermon. I admire much about Kate: her loving heart, her faith, intelligence, sense of humor. I admire that she's brave and willing to be vulnerable, willing to dispense with trying to present a facade, willing to live from her soul.