If you read my last post, you’ll know I was seeing red and smoking like a chimney. My anger was like a time bomb settled deep in my chest. I was aware of the weight, aware of its presence, but it was too big for me to get out myself, it had nothing left to do but explode. Inside the bomb, my angry teenager self–who I suspect became released as I’ve dealt with some current family conflicts dragging up old resentments–was harboring like a fugitive.
So there I’d be, out in my yard, crouching behind walls and bushes and gates trying not to be caught by my mother (like I said, angry teenager) or my husband and (step)sons. Every pack purchased was bought by that angsty sixteen-year-old seething with bottled up explosives. Every time I went out to have one, it wasn’t me lighting up. But in a way, I was allowing this one indulgence to try and keep the shrapnel from erupting onto everyone around me.
On days when I woke up not angry, days when my husband and I didn’t fight, days when I wasn’t receiving unwanted, unwelcome, and uninvited messages from my father and sister triggering old emotions, I had no problem not smoking. Zero urges. Zero withdrawals. Becuase I don’t want to be a smoker.
But as a teenager, I only knew one way to cope with anything–smoking. Thankfully, I realized there was something going on beneath the surface and I called my new friend Victoria–one I’m sure the universe put in front of me at just the right time. She’s a Reiki healer, and I’d met her during a networking meeting in late 2017.
Now, I’d met with a Reiki healer once before for my son back when he was still having potty training issues at 4 years old. I wasn’t impressed. I imagined crystals and music and him lying on the table while she ran her hands over him banishing energy from his body. She did none of this. She tried to teach him about his personal bubble (again, he was four) and to cleanse it when he’s angry.
So, you expect my four-year-old with no patience who has not yet reached the age or reasoning to pause and cleanse his bubble when he’s pissed off? Yeah right, my skeptical brain said and we left.
However, I did walk away with a piece of advice that worked out his potty training issues. She told me she’d been through the same thing with one of her boys and passed along what a nurse had once told her, “Do nothing. When he poops in his underwear, don’t react, don’t yell, don’t instruct, don’t correct. Do nothing. Just clean him up and get him dressed.” This worked like a charm. After years of struggles, within a month or so, he was pooping on the potty without needing to be reminded and we (knock on wood here) haven’t had a poop accident since. This advice, right here, is very profound and I’ll write another post on this at a later time.
In a way, taking him to that healer did have the result I wanted. So, despite it not being what I expected, I was willing to give it another try for myself.
And I’m beyond ecstatic with the results.
First, she listened. For two hours, she listened to the discombobulated, out-of-order, all-over-the-place explanations to why I was there. My main goal was to heal the anger so I could quit smoking, but this required looking into where the anger came from. Luckily, with my many years of therapy, meditation, and introspection, we were able to get there quickly.
Second, she nailed something about me on the head within a few minutes. As I described the why of me smoking, that it was my angry teenager who needed to cope and this is how she did it, she said, “And that angry teenager probably never healed,” but the keenest bit of insight was, “you’re not actually healing, you’re just moving from one coping mechanism to another.”
And the flashes started.
Trying to be perfect.
Wait, what? Yoga? How is that a coping mechanism? Isn’t that something healthy for you?
Yes. Yoga is healthy. But it’s true, even yoga and meditation have been coping mechanisms for me. When drinking and cigarettes weren’t an option for me after I had my son and became a single mom, I turned to healthy ways to cope. But I still wasn’t healed.
Because that’s what I do. I’m always looking for something outside myself to “fix” me. For a good long time, I’ve used my relationship with my husband, expecting him to fix me. When unhealthy things don’t work or I get tired of them, I move to healthy ones.
The way I’m defining the difference between a healthy habit and a healthy coping mechanism is by looking at why I was doing it. I began jogging not because I like to run, but because I hated my body and wanted to be skinny. And I figured the endorphins would help with the depression, which they did.
Becuase I still received all the health benefits of jogging, but jogging didn’t heal the wounds.
Just like I’ve received so many wonderful benefits from yoga, but I’m still not healed.
I’m on my way, though, and in the process, I’ve become even more grateful for yoga. I want to practice it. For me. Not to fix me, because I’m not a clock, I can’t break. I want to practice yoga because I believe in the philosophy and it suits me.
Now, back to the Reiki. Our discussion ended with two questions:
- What energy would you like to rid yourself of?
Easy answer, anger.
- What would you like to receive to replace it?
I said wholeness.
Then she got me on the table. Within seconds of her hands hovering over my temples, I felt it. Imagine those plasma globes you see at Spencer’s Gifts in the mall–you know the ones you put your hands on and the currents all dart to your fingertips. That was me. I could feel the energy striking between me and her hands. I could feel it moving.
I felt it most while she was over my head, and she confirmed the energy had been “flossing” through there. When she moved to my heart and chest, my body chilled. Then, she put pressure on my chest with one finger and I felt it pierce straight through. Not her finger, but something. It was painful but a deep internal pain, not caused by the poking. Then, she stroked her fingers to each side and it was a relief like finally scratching an itch that’s been bugging you but you just couldn’t get to it.
By the time she was at my toes, I’d warmed. And I should mention here, the air conditioner never kicked on, the windows were closed, and there was no fan on. Nothing about the temperature in the room changed, the change was happening within me.
She finished back at my head, and while I lay there I felt my skin. Not through external sensations like the air or temperature, but I felt it from the inside. It was laying on top of me, covering me, like a shell. And it was whole. And elastic. And unbreakable.
And I could’ve cried.
Other observations I noticed, was that I went into the meeting with my typically oily skin and when she was done it was dry. Not parched dry, but just right. Smooth and soft. I felt clean. I felt happy. I felt light.
I went home, and yes, I had a cigarette. And hated it.
My ritual for quitting has always been the same, and I can’t explain why or where it came from, but I’ve always needed to finish the pack. I suppose it lies in the symbolic extinguishment of the “last cigarette.” So I set out the next morning to finish the pack I had with intentions not to buy any more.
I couldn’t do it. I sat and smoked a couple and when I looked down and saw there were three left I smashed them to pieces. I haven’t had one since.
If I were a writer worth my salt, I’d be able to explain how I feel lighter than ether. How my body felt like I’d literally shed pounds of negativity when I left her house last Thursday. But I don’t know if there are words that can explain the vast difference.
Do I still get mad? Yes, of course, but it’s a normal kind of mad not a I’m-going-to-erupt-Vesuvius-and-take-out-an-entire-population kind of mad.
Are my problems with my husband still here? Yes, they are, but when you eliminate the anger-fueled negativity, they seem a lot more normal and a lot less the-world-is-ending-I-have-to-divorce-you-today. I also see all the wonderful things about him again. The things that made me say, “I do” to “for better or for worse, till death do us part” with him.
I still have a long way to go before I’m “healed,” but visiting Victoria the other day was like cleaning the wound. Yoga and meditation are my bandages. And through a dedicated practice–perhaps with more visits for cleaning–I’ll one day wake up healed. Of this, I am now sure.
I should note, she prescribed lemon balm extract to me which I’ve been taking daily, I’ve quit eating meat (which always makes me feel lighter), I hadn’t had any alcohol for days before I visited her and I haven’t had any since, I’ve cut way back on coffee, I’m following (as much as I can) an Aruyvedic diet, and this is all combined with a renewed DAILY yoga and meditation practice. The healing on the table will only go so far. If we want to change our lives, we have to first make a change in our lives.
For more info on Victoria Chetta and her services in Reiki Healing visit routetohealing.com
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