A question asked by Deepak Chopra in his 21-day meditation challenge was to ask yourself, "who am I?” What an interesting question. I had some very interesting answers to that question come up for me while meditating at an acupuncture session a few months back. Deepak says to ask and then ask again (and again) and then listen. I did just that. The first thing that I heard was, "I am a healer". Huh? Wasn't sure what that meant….so I asked again and this time the answer was, "I am a teacher". Yep, I'm a yoga and MELT instructor. Ask again…"I am a friend", I agree, I have lots of friends. The last time I asked the answer was "I am a pilgrim"….what??
As my session came to a close, Dr. Randall, my acupuncturist and wise friend entered the room and I shared with him what was revealed to me during meditation. I asked, “What the heck about the healer and pilgrim?” He smiled and said, “You are a healer. You help people heal with both yoga and MELT and you are definitely a pilgrim. You are one of the first instructors teaching the MELT modality”. Yes, those answers worked for me.
Several weeks later I left for 10 days of intense training (100 hours to be exact) in Joshua Tree from Nischala Joy Devi. The training is called "Yoga of the Heart" and it is a specialized certification to work with people with cancer and heart disease. I had known that I wanted to follow down this path with my yoga training from the very beginning and it was time to make the pilgrimage. Lucky for me, my good friend Mary Baker shared this same strong desire. She and I share the common bond of losing parents to cancer. We embraced the long hours: starting with a 6:30 a.m. yoga practice, lectures during the day, guided classes in the afternoon and then practice with partners until about 9:00 p.m. We persevered. Focusing in, and soaking up all the new knowledge Nischala lovingly shared with us.
On the trip home Mary and I decided that we absolutely had to share this precious gift of "self-healing" with others. Sad with the knowledge that we were not equipped with these skills in time to help our parents, we became even more resolved to share it now so that others can benefit. Having these new loving skills to share now with the world brought comfort to us and a certain added sweetness to our memories of our parents. We knew this was our dharma, to share this knowledge that we had received.
One definition of dharma is "a unique gift that we can do better then anyone else on the planet. One clue that we’ve discovered our dharma is that we lose track of time and experience timeless awareness whenever we’re doing that particular thing. We enter a state of bliss." This is how I feel when I am helping others. I often loose track of time during classes and/ or private sessions because time ceases to matter. What I am doing is what I love and the clock is just a time piece.
Mary and I have since started a business called Be Well. We help people to reduce stress in their lives through gentle yoga practice, deep relaxation, meditation and guided imagery. We specialize in helping those with cancer and heart disease. Who am I? I am a healer. I help people through the techniques I have learned to self heal. Who am I? I am a teacher. I teach and guide people to self-heal and to learn self- love. Who am I? I am a friend; a friend to those that need a friend. Who am I? I am a pilgrim. With my partner Mary, I am venturing into a new area of alternate care for those living with disease and I am following my dharma, what I believe I was put on this earth to do.