Tag Archives: therapy

A sense of wonder

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Last week I saw a rainbow forming  a perfect arc in the sky.  As I watched it fade, I thought of Blake’s poem which expresses so beautifully the sense of wonder a rainbow inspires in us:

My heart leaps up when I behold 

A rainbow in the sky:

So was it when my life began;

So is it now I am a man;

So be it when I shall grow old,

Or let me die!

The child is Father of the man,

And I could wish my days to be

Bound each to each by natural piety. 

~ William Blake

Every time I see a rainbow, I experience this same lifting of the spirits that Blake describes;  a joy and wonder at the beauty of this earth we live in.  We could explain the rainbow scientifically, as so much else in this modern age, but I don’t believe that scientific understanding diminishes the beauty or the splendour of the natural world.  However logically we explain the phenomena of rainbows, clouds, sound, or tides, they remain a marvel, in the true sense of the word.

I recently wrote a post describing the wonder that our children show for the world around them, and how we can learn from them as adults.  This is what Blake touches on here, as he asks that he may never lose his sense of wonder, even as an old man – ‘Or let me die!’.  Let us try to maintain – and even grow – our fascination for the natural world.  Let us find the time to pause and truly notice our surroundings.  Once, when I was attending an intensive training week for a new therapy team,  we all rushed in at the start of the day, except one wonderful therapist, who took just a moment, just one small moment, to stop and breathe in the scent of a flowering shrub by the entrance.  To be fully present in the moment before embarking on another day of lectures and discussion. To notice something which the rest of us had missed in our rush.  So I ask, as Blake did, that I never forget to notice the splendour of our world in the rush of daily life.  That I may pause to take a conscious breath, and to wonder at the little things that make such a difference to our lives.

The rainbow also reminded me of a talk I attended many years ago, when I had recently embarked on my career as a therapist.  The talk was given by an author, Brenda Davies, about her book ‘The Rainbow Journey’, a book about the seven main chakras.  As a new therapist, and having not at that time embarked on my yoga training, my understanding and experience of the chakras at that time was sketchy, and so the talk was utterly fascinating.  Since that time, I have studied the chakras through further reading, and by experiencing ways of working with their energy, both on a personal level and through my yoga and therapy work with clients.  I have written assignments on them and have embarked on a book of my own.  The wonder and fascination of the chakras, our own inner rainbow, will never leave me, and I hope to write more about them in future posts. With every training I have taken over the years, in yoga, in reflexology and in Jin Shin Jyutsu, I have experienced the same excitement and wonder that shows me I am on the right path.  I hope to always listen to that intuition, and to never stop wondering about the world.

Out of time…

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The other day a client commented after her treatment that she felt so different after just half an hour, and it seemed as though she had been there so much longer.  At work, she said, 30 minutes could pass so quickly, sometimes with so little to show for it, yet in the treatment room, that same length of time had achieved so much.

This is just the feeling I have when I spend even a short amount of time doing something which is deeply relaxing or renewing, something which nourishes and respects who I am on the inside. For me, time spent doing something on a soul level takes me ‘out of time’, making maybe even a 10 minute practice seem like an age in which I’ve undergone tremendous change.

For me, time spent doing a personal yoga practice, pranayama or meditation, can seem both a split second and incredibly long, both at the same time. The same thing happens when I give or receive a treatment: the quality of the time spent can be so much more important than the actual time spent.  In the clinic environment, where I have to keep track of time so as not to run late and inconvenience my next client, this paradox is especially noticeable.  I can be aware that I only have a short amount of actual time left, and yet somehow I always feel that time expands to allow me to complete the best treatment for the client I’m with.  In meditation, I lose all sense of time, and can sit for 5 minutes when I have little actual time, or an hour when time is plentiful, and both can feel exactly the same.  This lost sense of time is something that new mothers in my postnatal classes comment on, as something which occurs often during childbirth, and when holding and spending time with a newborn baby, two of the most intense experiences a woman can have.

I believe that it is the intensity of our experience which causes us to be ‘out of time’, to be lost in what we are doing, in the flow of inspiration.  I’m sure that everyone has experienced those days when everything goes just right, when we can achieve so much, and other days when we are out of our comfort zone, struggling to get things done ‘in time’.  This underlines the importance of ‘taking time out’ to look after our inner selves, to evolve whatever practices make us feel good.  The next time life feels too much effort, maybe we need to take a step back, and give ourselves the time we need to nourish our true selves.