A few years ago, while picking up some produce at Whole Foods, I happened to run into an acquaintance of mine. We exchanged the usual hellos, followed by remarks about shopping at Whole Foods–a wonderful grocery store, but rather pricey. Then, my friend said something that struck me immediately, and has stayed with me ever since:
“I figure you pay now or
you pay later.”
I believe there is great truth in this statement. Whether or not you hold the belief that spending more money on organic food will result in better health and less cost down the road is really beside the point. The bigger question is:
- Is it worth spending time, effort and money on my health and well being, and doing it now?
My answer is a resounding YES. There is no end to the advice that we hear regarding diet, exercise, sleep, stress reduction. Search “preventive medicine” on the internet and you will come up with over 12,800,000 results! A bit overwhelming, so where to begin?
Healing Touch is an excellent place to begin. You quickly learn that this holistic approach addresses all aspects of who you are as a beautiful, unique individual, often beginning with physical or psychological symptoms, but also recognizing that our relationships, work, lifestyle, thoughts and beliefs, spirituality, past history and future dreams are equally important to consider.
Stretching out on a treatment table, entering a state of deep relaxation and receiving healing energy offers many benefits. These healing energies continue to move through us for a few days after the session. What if there was something that could be done to enhance the work and extend the effectiveness? This is where “self care” comes in. In fact, one of the most important and gratifying aspects of my work as a Healing Touch practitioner is to explore self care with my clients. It is also the most important and gratifying commitment I make to myself every day.
Why is it so important?
Learning how to perform energy healing techniques on oneself does, indeed, extend the effectiveness of the work. I am usually met with a wide-eyed, “Really?” when I offer to teach a client some energetic healing techniques. Magnetic Passes: Hands Still, Magnetic Passes: Hands in Motion, Pain Drain, Mind Clearing, and the Self Chakra Connection are all effective tools for any self-care toolbox.
Not only do these techniques enhance the healing process, but also, it is empowering for us to know that we can play an active role in our own healing. Certainly, the practitioner facilitates the process, and with ample training and experience, is able to be an effective conduit for the energy. However, the relationship between client and healer is a partnership. Ultimately, all healing is self healing.
Self care also challenges us to take responsibility for our lifestyle and make choices that support our desire for optimum health. There is absolutely no limit to the ways in which we can honor our commitment to ourselves! Yes, consuming healthy, clean food is important. In addition, there are classes, workshops, support groups, books, articles, the internet…swimming, biking, running, walking, skiing (my personal favorite), team sports…yoga, qigong, tai chi, art, dance, music, chanting, meditation, prayer…the list goes on and on. Simply ask yourself, “What sounds interesting? Feasible? Fun?” If you find yourself saying, “Yes, but…” you are making excuses and your life is probably out of balance.
When working with clients, it occasionally becomes apparent that he or she is facing challenges that go beyond my scope of practice. Making referrals to a doctor, psychologist, nutritionist, acupuncturist, or other healthcare providers creates a collaborative team that provides comprehensive, well integrated care. Do I employ a variety of healthcare providers for myself? You bet.
Why is it so gratifying?
Whether I am working with a client, or engaging in my own self care, there is always an opportunity to open to deeper levels of change and transformation. Coming face to face with our resistance, fears, worn-out beliefs, and wounds can be challenging, even painful. It can be tempting to look the other way, make excuses, make ourselves too busy to bother, or numb our pain with food, alcohol, or drugs. These methods, often employed without us even being consciously aware of it, seem to make the symptoms “go away, ” but this is an illusion. Avoidance embeds the problems deeper and deeper into our energetic matrix. Eventually, little nudges in the form of symptoms re-emerge. If those symptoms continue to be ignored, little symptoms become bigger symptoms, until eventually they are screaming at us. Excruciating pain, a fall, a heart attack, depression, a broken relationship are all ways that our body might scream at us if we continue to ignore. As my friend said that day at Whole Foods, “You pay now or you pay later.”
What if we do listen? What if we actually engage in self care as a way to maintain health before symptoms even arise? Facing our challenges and taking steps to improve ourselves can be challenging. It may require a commitment in the form of time, dedication, even money. It requires honesty, surrender, courage and forgiveness. And, it allows us to move through the pain, finding freedom and joy.
Sadly, many people question the decision for self care with an additional layer of doubt:
- Isn’t it selfish or self-indulgent?
My answer is a resounding NO. Why are we here in the first place? You can ponder this question for days, weeks, months, years. You may even come up with an answer! I personally believe that we are here to connect with our true essence, to heal and evolve. To heal is to uncover our wholeness. We are also here to discover and engage in our life purpose, to be in relationships, to serve and teach one another in a variety of ways, each with our own beautiful talents, interests, personalities, and foibles. Self care is not selfish or self-indulgent. Self care promotes our own healing and allows us to be of service to others.
From an energetic standpoint, caring for yourself raises your energetic vibration. You create a ripple effect that has a positive impact, first on your immediate surroundings and relationships, then on your community, then on the entire planet, and conceivably to the ends of the universe and beyond.
There are many ways in which we can choose to invest in ourselves. For a great start, receive regular Healing Touch sessions. Discuss self care with your practitioner. Put together a team of health care professionals to create a comprehensive approach. Explore the vast array of offerings in your community. Identify an approach that resonates with you. See how it works for you. Commit to a daily practice, even if it is for just a few minutes. The commitment makes a statement, raises your vibration, tells the quantum field that you are serious, you intend for change, healing, health. Even if you are having a hard time deciding what might be best for you, choose something, anything, and give it a try. The method isn’t important, as long as you choose something.
The bottom line? “I figure we pay now or we pay later.” Pay now. Invest in yourself, today and every day.