Healing Spaces and Identity

I listened to a Listen Hunnay podcast episode of Jeannie Mai interviewing Karen Felice about Reiki, an alternative therapy. It’s energy healing from Japan in the 1800s and uses hands or palms to move the flow of energy in the body, similar to acupuncture. I listened sceptically, but my main take away from the podcast was realising how much pressure we put on ourselves regarding our identity or our roles in life.

Reiki can be used for physical pain as well as mental health issues like stress management. It is said to also aid relaxation and healing, and helping develop emotional, mental, and spiritual wellbeing. Then I was hooked. Lockdown life is really making me reassess my life and the decisions I’ve made to get to where I am today.

Felice moved on to talk about healing spaces. Good thoughts lead to good actions, but this has to be everywhere in your life. So you can go to therapy and feel great after a session, but then go home and your place is a mess, or go to work and the office is not a great vibe. There has to be peace everywhere. Then this got me thinking whether I have peace in the spaces I occupy. Unanimously, no. There are small pockets of peace in some spaces, but is that enough?

Then these words inspired me and gave me some hope: “nothing can enter my space without my permission“. This can be applied to any space. For instance, if at a party (pre-lockdown days) and you are feeling overwhelmed, you have control and can just leave or take a break from the party.

This reminded me of a quote: “ships don’t sink because of the water around them, ships sink because of the water that gets in them, and to not let what’s happening around you get inside you and weigh you down”. This is something I have immense difficulty with recently: I’ve been overthinking or replaying scenarios in my head or wondering what would happen if X, Y, or Z happened. So I suppose I’m drilling holes in my ship and letting the water in. I need to throw away the drill!

It’s hard to not allow something negative enter your space if negativity has always entered that space historically. Then the next wave of inspiration was spoken: I can choose to have a new experience with this experience. So what if negativity has seeped into my spaces previously. And so what if historically things have not worked out too well. I can have new experiences in those spaces and they can become healing spaces. And then there can be peace.

We can also try not to limit ourselves when looking at a role. The example given was miscarriage. Questions like: can one no longer be a mother because this happened or how to have peace about being a woman or being a mother because this happened. But one can give out love whether they are a mother or not.

Beyonce learned how to become a mother due to her miscarriages, that she had to be a mother to herself first. This is not just succeed or fail, the journey in itself is the success. This is definitely something I need to take on board. As I am often quite results-orientated, if there is no result or if progress is slow I often conclude that this is not a success. But, stereotypically, it’s the journey not the destination that counts.

The podcast episode goes on to discuss spiritual authors Eckhart Tolle and Deepak Chopra. In dealing with letting water into your ship, one technique can be to identify but then to not engage. Like identifying the iceberg of negativity but then steering the ship away. Instead of “I feel X”, say “ah, there you are X”. Your role in life doesn’t have to be your identity. This can relate to jobs and how you identify at home or in relationships too.

Another technique is to be neutral. If you receive a compliment it makes you feel nice, but then you receive an insult and it makes you feel bad. But compliment or insult someone in control of their emotions and they feel nothing. In a neutral place (or space), you are neither victor nor victim. People can use these intentions as part of their day to reset and be empowered.

This was a very engaging podcast episode that got me thinking and reassessing my spaces, my roles, and ultimately my identity. My job in the work space and my role(s) in the home space don’t have to define who I am or label my identity. I will try to just identify the negative thought or feeling but steer my ship away from it and not engage.

I also have to remind myself that, as Jameela Jamil says, trying is winning. And it should be about the journey not the destination. Even if a journey seems hard and difficult, a ship is still progressing if it is still moving forward, no matter how slowly. Progress is still progress and I need to learn to celebrate that.

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