I was having a wonderful Facebook chat conversation last night with one of the members of the Growing Practice fan page. We were going into some very deep ideas, and out of this chat came some very profound insights into the heart of the massage therapist.
We are very giving of ourselves. Sometimes, we might be too giving. “How can you be too giving?” you might ask. How many of us will give so much of our energy, to the point of feeling depleted by session’s end? How many of us have worked on “energy vampires”? If you have, you know exactly what I mean.
In this conversation, I asked the other therapist to imagine two different scenarios. In both scenarios, your next client is that energy vampire.
Scenario One: You go into the treatment room and work on the person as you have every other time you have worked on this person.
Scenario Two: You just got to your office after spending one hour on Bell Rock in Sedona, soaking up the sun, meditating while absorbing Bell Rock’s energy vortex.
Now, tap into your feelings. How did scenario one feel? How did the second one feel? What was different?
You see, we have an unlimited supply of energy within us, provided we take time to care for ourselves. Have you ever looked at an oil lamp? The wick barely burns. You only have charring on its very tip. But were you to remove the oil, and light the wick, it would burn away in a few seconds. We are like that. As long as we have the oil of energy from our source: some call it chi, some call it our inner guide, some call it God; as long as we have this energy, our wick doesn’t burn.
But oftentimes, the heart of the healer is the heart of the martyr. Now it might sound like being a martyr is a good thing. But a martyr destroys him/herself in the interest of their cause. A massage therapist with the heart of a martyr will suffer back pain, joint pain, energy depletion–anything for the client. Eckhart Tolle speaks of this as feeding the pain body. Is martyrdom a necessary component of the healer’s heart?
Let me take this a little further. A very wise teacher, when asked what was the greatest commandment, answered, “Love the Lord your God with all your heart, all your soul, and all your mind.” But he didn’t stop there. He then said, “and the second commandment is similar, Love your neighbor as you love yourself”. Now, I’m not getting religious on you here–this concept is core to every single culture and every religion. This is a spiritual concept. There are three people mentioned in these two greatest commandments. Which one is the most important? Which is the key? The three are: God, Others, Self.
An anonymous sage once wrote, “If we treated our friends, the way we treat ourselves, we’d all be in jail”. I know I quoted this in a previous blog–but it is worth repeating. The measure we are given in the Golden Rule for loving others is the degree we love ourselves. If we can’t love ourselves, how then can we love others. This becomes the cause of all our relational difficulties. The measure that the teacher who stated the commandments gave for loving God was how we treat others. “Whatever you have done for the least of these, you have done unto me”.
So, loving ourselves is the key to loving God (the universe, our higher power, fill in the blank) and lo loving others. So when you soaked up all that Bell Rock had to offer in the second scenario, you were loving yourself. Some think that to love oneself is narcissistic, arrogant, or selfish. But by filling your lamp with oil by caring for your needs first, you were able to give of you received, rather than from your essence, the wick.
In building your practice, it is essential that you look into those things that are holding you back: the energy blocks I mentioned in an earlier blog. It is important to see where you are depriving yourself of the nurturing that your healer’s heart instinctively gives to others. Lastly, answer this question, “What will my practice look like when I love myself unconditionally?”
‘Til next time,