For the last day of shiatsu class, our instructor lead us through a guided meditation. The day before, we did a gratitude meditation (which made me cry. Not too difficult to do anymore). This last meditation asked us to breathe, be aware of our breath and recall times in the past when our breath was significant. There was a list of 22 things to recall and focus on but we only got through 11. One of the things was a body scan. We were asked to focus on our body and emotions and be aware of what came to our attention. We were asked to be aware of any sensations and any emotions. We were asked to look at these things with curiosity and compassion.
I thought nothing would come up for me during this meditation because I often feel like I’m “doing it wrong” when it comes to these exercises. I was surprised that I noticed a lot of pain in my body. Mostly around my shoulders and neck. I think I have it most of the time but it has become my “normal” and it doesn’t really register in my consciousness until I pay attention. I also noticed a lot of sadness within myself. I have a happy face a lot of the time. I try to look for the good in my day and I try to focus on the positives. I also strive to be sunshine and light for those around me. As we did this meditation, I noticed that I have a current of sadness which is constant. If I could give it a color, it would be sea green. If I could give it a shape and size, it would be about 3-4″ tall and flowing under the surface of my awareness, much like warm salt water taffy. How’s that for a visual?
I was diagnosed with mild depression some time ago. I have not been on medication for over five years now. (Not that there’s anything wrong with medication! Not what I’m saying at all). I have been working on myself quite a lot since starting massage school at the beginning of this year. I have made some big changes in my life since January. I know those changes were needed but they also bring me an element of sadness. Mourning the past and the dissolving of relationships requires time and focus on processing the grief. I don’t think I’ve done proper grieving. I’ve distracted myself instead. I’ve become busy with school and friends and building other relationships. All of that is fine but I need to deal with the sadness I have. I need to sit with it and process. I need to make peace with what I feel inside. To be perfectly honest, I don’t quite know how to do this either.
Oddly, the gratitude meditation we did this past Wednesday brought much of this sadness to the surface. There are many things I take for granted. I feel I take my health for granted. Also my senses. I assume my sight and hearing will always be there and it won’t. I am grateful for my family’s support and presence. I am grateful for the friends I have made at massage school. I am grateful for the friend I’ve met outside of massage school. I am grateful for the financial support I have so I can live and buy things I need. I am grateful for my instructors. I am grateful for so many things.
I am grateful for the life lessons and lessons about myself that I’ve learned over the past 6 months. It’s been life changing and I would not change any of it. I feel there’s a few more lessons to learn and I am open to them.
I always try to remember my dreams. Sometimes this works, sometimes not. Yesterday, I know I dreamt something but I could not remember what it was about. However, it left me feeling bad inside and generally out of sorts. This morning, I woke from another dream that left me feeling bad. A familiar “bad” that I’d feel when I was a kid.
When I was young, I felt like I could irritate my family simply by existing. I felt like I was a colossal screw up and a massive bother. I felt like this because of how certain members of the family reacted to my existence. When I was young, the simple fact that I was around was enough to annoy those around me. I grew up with the distinct feeling that I annoyed EVERYONE I met in the same fashion. This feeling that I was in the way or a bother or too much to deal with has stayed with me into adulthood. It has made me shrink myself, be passive and go with the flow, all so I am not a bother to those around me.
This isn’t the picture of a soul truly living, if you ask me.
We have been learning Shiatsu in class for the past week. Shiatsu is an energy modality. We were told from the start that our dreams might become more vivid, we’d have emotional shifts or releases and this modality could be life changing. All of that excited and terrified me in equal measure. I have been on a path of personal change for a while. Since January, when I started massage school, I’ve changed quite a bit. Those around me have noticed and I have been told it’s been a fantastic thing to witness. When I first started school, I was anxious and struggled to share anything much about myself. While it’s still difficult for me to share sometimes, it has gotten easier. (Although most recently, I feel myself wanting to clam back up again. I have been doing a bit of emotional eating this week too. Bloody fears.)
Today, we are going to be working the element of earth in our Shiatsu class. Our instructor said this is a good session for anyone who has trouble grounding (that would be me). So, on the back of this dream and everything I’ve learned about Shiatsu thus far, I am going into today with a mixed bag of emotions. I am curious to see if anything comes up for me. A little apprehensive and nervous at the thought of it too. What better way to start a Thursday, eh?
Today is my birthday!
In the past, I have disliked my birthday because it marked that I was a year older (duh) but also reminded me that I was not where I wanted to be in my life. I always set my birthday as the marker for certain goals. I’ve always tried to improve each year in some way (much like fine wine. Wink, Wink) and this year, I finally feel accomplished. It probably helps that I met one of my new year’s resolutions on time.
In January, I told my fitness group I wanted to reach 187 pounds by my birthday. I accomplished that goal, much to my surprise. Apart from that, I started massage school in January. While I did not know the vast amount of changes my life had ahead at the beginning of this year, I knew a change in career path could help me feel more fulfilled. Being in massage school has helped me gain confidence and has shown me that I can learn new things and do well at them, even if they are uncomfortable and foreign.
My personal life has a different look that it did last year too. My husband and I are separated (a mutual and amicable decision). I have processed quite a lot of deep wounds during this process, things I was totally unaware of. This sort of growth is difficult but is so needed and I welcome even more insights into my life. I am surrounded by very supportive, wonderful friends and family right now. I feel my life is richer now than it was last year. I am so happy in this moment (as I type this) and I feel very thankful for all I have. I also feel very thankful for those around me because they are a blessing and are exactly who I need in my life right now.
I had the best birthday weekend. I spent time with people I care about. My heart is full right now. I am going into this new week feeling happy and content. I could not have asked for a better birthday.