You read it correctly, the rut-sack. This is the pack that carries all our long established and well trodden paths that we misperceive as super-highways, but instead are actually snag-ways. It is also the place where we hide all our shadows, burdens and big dreams that, if dealt with holistically, carry the charges for our greatest potential.
In my post of one year ago “The Equinox”, I talked about the joy I experienced on the Camino helping others thin out their backpacks. As I reflect on that joy today, I realize it truly sums up why and what I do as a professional: I love to help others lighten their load through their journey of life.
Helping others heal is a process of helping them become whole. Sometimes, in the healing process, we learn there are parts of ourselves that we have inavertedly left astray, behind, or denied that simply need to be recognised, retrieved, and integrated. Other times, we discover the reasons for our feeling burdened, confined, or hemmed in is that we are in fact carrying excess baggage, often in the shape of self-denial, self-rejection, self-hatred, and self-betrayal that painfully bar us from our authentic, self-compassionate, and much lighter selves.
As a yoga therapy professional, my goal is client empowerment, which means I never set to task identifying, and/or eliminating (in the case of “extra” burdens), and/or retrieving (in the case of missing parts) anything on your behalf. In other words, I never diagnose, analyse, or provide treatment (my work as a shamanic practitioner differs in this way, more on that later). I do, however, help you to identify and learn to treat yourself! My skill is knowing how to support you through a process of self-awareness and self-empowerment, where you learn to recognize for yourself the hindrance barring your potential, AND realize the specific power you have to do something about it. That is what it means to live a self-directed life. Sometimes the “doing something about it” is as straightforward as “taking 15mins to myself to meditate every morning”, or “taking the stairs at work”, or “telling myself I’m worth it before I start the rest of my day”. These are examples of simple and pragmatic choices that, when born from a deep and embodied place, make clear the steps that will lead us towards a self-actualizing life. So, at the end of the day, my work as a yoga therapist is walking alongside you, as you learn to lighten your load, on your personal Camino.
Sometimes, what emerges in a yoga therapy session is the simple fact that we need help. Which, for some reason, is one of the hardest “action steps” to name. Why is naming our need for help so difficult? This of course, is a whole other, and very much so worthy blog, that I am not going to endeavor to write this morning. However, I would like to flag it. Brene Brown comes immediately to mind as an incredible resource for making the case about the importance, and essential strength of being vulnerable and dscerning when to ask for help.
When it comes to physical ailments and illness we seem relatively comfortable, as a collective, to seek necessary help. But boy does it get loaded when it comes to facing our need for psychological, emotional, and spiritual help. How do we deal with our emotional burdens, our mental blocks, our energetic adhesions? These more “subtle” layers of our being are no less worthy, and no less in need of support, healing, and tender care. Surely in this age of quantum mechanics, psychoneuroimmunology, and ecology, all grounded in the familiar and reputable language of science, we can lean in and listen to more than what simply meets the eye. Likely these are aspects of our collective and personal selves that still live at the bottom of the rut-sack, cast of as shadows we are near ready to recognize and integrate as our own.
Good news: we don’t have to go it alone! And, if I haven’t made it clear yet 😉, I’m happy and honored to walk alongside you on your whole-being healing, personal Camino way ❤️.
Here’s the post link from 2016: http://wp.me/p65l41-gE