This is the friend I most often walk with. (Yes, I know that should read “with whom I most often walk”) My hair is a lot longer now. His is about the same. Today I noticed something about myself and the walking routine. When I’m with him I focus on where he’s headed, how hard he’s pulling, and if I’m about to be pulled over on my face. (It’s a good test of bone density, but I don’t like to take it too often.)
After our walk today I decided to go out again on my own to pick a handful of blackberries I had spotted the day before. I didn’t want him along, as berry vines have a way of having their way with anyone who ventures in. But before I even got to the patch, while climbing the hill (well not really a hill, just an incline at most) my focus was all on me. Oh my knee, oh my hip, oh my back.
Without my pal I was all about me. Woe.
Later a friend called and wanted a bit of healing energy sent her way. The call to action opened a inner door for me that said, “Yes! I can do that, I’m so glad you asked.” We laughed about how Looney Tunes the world seems right now. And it was good to laugh. The connection itself was healing for me, and lifted us both up.
We need these connections. Even long distance, even socially distanced we can offer a smile as we pass each other on the path, a word, a song, a little offering of ourselves to another. We’ve learned that even with a mask it’s possible to ‘read’ a smile in the eyes of that person coming along the way. And those eyes, how beautiful they are. My knee feels better.
I learned this song from a most beautiful posting on YouTube which included an invitation to sing this Algonquin Women’s Water Song to and with the waters of the earth. Look here to find it: Sing the Water Song
I was captivated and inspired not only to sing it at the local river here where we live, but also to record it with a personal prayer. I have done so with respect to the originators and to my own First Nations teacher, SiSwinKlae Laurel Boucher of the Coast Salish peoples. In the later tradition we call in all directions that our prayer be heard.
My teacher has added that the Coast Salish peoples call in the directions starting in the East and turning counter-clockwise. Therefore we offer this prayer anew asking for rain to cool the earth and put out the fires. Ah Ho! — updated 9/15/2020
It is a common occurrence in our practice to have a client say, “I’m too sensitive, please fix it.” They want to get rid of their sensitivity, run away from it. It’s a hard-sell to convince them that their sensitivity is in fact a gift, one that helps them navigate the physical, mental, and emotional currents of their world. It is that same sensitivity that allow us a healing facilitators to do our work.
Our sensitivity is a built-in tool for survival, giving us information about the nature of potential threats, dangers, and pitfalls. At the same time it biases our bodies to take action as needed. Our sensory systems take in our surroundings and interpret for us, so that we can avoid pain.
Our senses also bring us the beauty of the world, the taste and fragrances of good food, the warmth of camp fires and close friendships, the knowledge of great teachers — in short, many countless blessings. We would be lost without these things.
Sometimes extreme sensitivity includes the inability to tolerate our increasingly polluted environments of both chemical and (dare I say it) man-made electro-smog, such as cell signals, wifi, microwaves, and other sources. The air we breath, the water and food we take in are not the same as they were even a few decades ago. We are living in a different soup these days. These things are not going away, so the body must adapt and we must become more aware of what we need to help ourselves move forward.
It is not likely that we will give up our cell phones, tablets, or computers and live in a tent, though some with extreme sensitivity have to do so. Most of us will soldier on, making some adjustments here and there. I am not writing this on a stone tablet, but I no longer let my microwave oven spew out waves into my home. (The meter went off the dial when I tested it with the door securely shut.) We are more careful about what we eat, choosing less processed, less treated, less sweet, more complex foods.
Added to these measures are the time-honored practices of the spiritual traditions that have informed our lives and that we teach our clients and students – prayer, meditation, chanting, movement, music, mantra, study of the wisdom teachings, time in like-minded community, silence, and practices for clearing the body and mind.
Clearing is a favorite standby and we refine its use everyday as the need arises. For me it means taking the time, many times a day if necessary, to let go of what I may have picked up consciously for unconsciously from the environment, including from other people. We all do this, pick up stuff. Letting go can mean looking out the window at a tree or the horizon and sending anything I no longer need in that direction. (Don’t worry, letting go will not harm the tree or that mountain in the distance.)
I often repeat, “May anything no longer useful to me to dissolve and flow away.” Invoking the 5 elements of the ancient world as a means for clearing is simple and effective – asking earth, water, air, fire, and/or space to remove and transform the dross that has accumulated in my being over time. Movement, a walk, dancing, singing can all come into play as ways to clear.
Let me be clear – your sensitivity is a gift. Be clear and see.