It has now been 8 years since I began my journey with Thai Yoga Massage, in those 8 years I have grown to appreciate the critical importance of self care and the consequences of failing to prioritize my wellbeing.
These days my passion is to help and inspire others to find ways to fit wellbeing practices into their busy lives. The rate of burnout amongst my peers over the last decade has been alarming, my peers are women between the age of 35 and 60, what is most disturbing is how few feel empowered to manage and often even talk about the exhaustion that so many of us feel, obviously when you are exhausted the last thing you feel able to do is take on the job of dealing with your exhaustion. All too often a trip to the doctor leaves us feeling that there is nothing that can be done and that it is just a normal part of life, our age and our time to feel exhausted.
I do not claim to have all the answers and there are many ways that the scientific world will shut down those of us who speak up with suggestions that are not proven by science, but I feel its my duty as a human to share the things that have worked to help me through my own battles with exhaustion and breakdowns, both large and small, mental and physical. I am eternally grateful to the holistic healthcare practitioners who shared with me all of what has brought me back from a hypothyroid induced breakdown 4 years ago to a place where I feel my clarity and passion for life has been restored.
So this is my first blog about the building blocks that have supported and continue to support my recovery and I want to start by simply introducing a biggie, supporting the nervous system, the intricate web of chemical, neurological and physical matter that drives the symphony that is our experience of reality.
I lightly call myself a Parasympathetic Paramedic, the parasympathetic nervous system is the part of our miraculous body that comes into being when we are feeling safe. When we are experiencing life through its lens we can ‘rest and digest’.
When I practice Thai Yoga Massage I am praying and giving thanks because I have an opportunity to offer some rest to a person whose nervous system is living in this frantic world. I have been learning about the nervous system from teachers and from the experience of it dictating how I experience each moment.
My most constant teacher has been Tara Brach whose teachings are about kindness, when we practice kindness to ourselves we are doing something radical, we are turning towards our ability to ‘tend and befriend’ and ‘rest and digest’, the direct polar opposite to ‘fight, flight, freeze’ which created stress hormones and inflammation in our bodies, our relationships and our world.
I cannot think of a better way to spend my life than to call in more of the great things that happen when we humans can access a way to land into our bodies, rest a while, know that it is possible to rest and how radically it changes how we feel about everything.
For now will leave you with a poem that has encouraged me to stop and rest countless times over the last 2 years, it is a practice that has endless distractions and responsibilities competing for its space but even if 10 minutes of sitting still is all I have managed to give to myself in a week, this poem has often been there for me, I hope it can be there for you too…
Let go of what is passed.
Let go of what may come.
Let go of what is happening now.
Don’t try to figure anything out.
Don’t try to make anything happen.
Relax, right now and rest.