My Self Healing Journey – Part 2

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thailand

 

 

I had read about meditation in London, but I’d never been drawn to taking a class. I didn’t think meditation could help me because as far as I was concerned, meditation was for the mind and my problem was in the body. Right? Wrong.

 

As fate would have it, I arrived in Thailand and within a few days I was booked on a ten day silent meditation retreat on the southern island of Koh Phangan. Famously known for its full moon parties, Koh phangan was a tropical island paradise. However I was not there to party, I was there for one reason and one reason only; to see if meditation could help relieve my pain.

 

On arrival at the silent meditation retreat, everyone was given the rules, the timetable and allocated a daily job, “Karma Yoga”. Mine was to clean the women’s toilets. I took this as a sign that I still had a lot of “Karmic crap” to clean up!

 

We did a yoga asana class in the morning, followed by 9 hours of sitting, standing and walking meditation everyday.

We slept on concrete floors on straw mats, threw cold buckets of water over ourselves for showers and ate Thai curry for breakfast and lunch. There were scorpions, snakes, centipedes, spiders and mosquitos and as we were learning all about Buddhism with the first precept being non violence, we were asked to sustain from harming all living things.

 

We were also asked to only look at peoples feet, not their faces, and speaking was totally out of the question. This was ten days of silence to go inwards and face your own demons and it was disrespectful to distract another from their process.

 

“How on earth was all this ever going to help relieve my pain?”, I thought. “Sleeping on a straw mat, sitting cross legged for hours and eating spicy food would surely make it worse”. But since stranger things like “not eating” had made my pain disappear, I decided to stick it out and abide by the rules.

 

By Day 7, I was walking without a limp and the spring had returned in my step. By Day 9, I was sure I was enlightened. My mind was quiet, I was pain free, I was happy and relaxed and I had reconnected with love within. Who would have thought cleaning toilets, sleeping on a concrete floor and ten days of meditation would bring me to this state of peaceful bliss.

 

I thought I had finally come to the end of my long search…

 

On Day 10, I departed from the meditation retreat with a deep sense of freedom and inner peace. Now I was on my way to have a much needed holiday, discover Thailand, have a massage and enjoy the rest of my life.  But as the days went by my mind began filling with worldly thoughts again, the pain was creeping back in and I was starting to feel the stresses of life returning.

 

It was around this time that I began to understand the “mind body connection” and why meditation did actually work for me. I began to see that my pain was psychosomatic — a physical condition irritated by a mental factor such as stress.  My body was constantly reflecting back to me my mental, emotional and spiritual state. It appeared that the more peaceful, safe, content, happy and relaxed I was, the less pain I would feel. And I started to see many similarities between the Fasting Clinic and the Meditation Retreat that supported these facts.

 

Since buying the one way ticket to London, I was now getting good at following my intuition and allowing things to present themselves to me. I didn’t need to know ‘why?’ anymore, it was easier to trust in the universe and let things unfold.

 

From the meditation centre I went north to Chiang Mai and ended up learning how to give a massage. I had no desire or inner calling to become a massage therapist. I studied Thai Massage because the first Thai Massage I received, relieved my pain like no other massage had.

 

This massage reconnected me to love, turned by body to liquid and returned my mind to stillness. I could feel it working on so many different levels and at the end of just 1.5 hours I felt complete oneness with the world. I had found my bliss again.

 

This feeling was similar to that which I had experienced on the Meditation Retreat and the Fasting Clinic. I still remember this first Thai Massage as though it was yesterday, but in actuality it was twenty-four years ago.

 

Thai Massage would become my passion, my way to stay in alignment with love, peace and gratitude and help relieve pain in others. It would draw me back to Thailand ten times to study with and receive massages from some of the greatest Thai Healers. Over the next quarter of a century I dedicated my life to sharing Thai Massage, helping, teaching and empowering others. I shared my love of bodywork and the power of this ancient massage with thousands of people from all over the world.

 

Being of service to others became my greatest ally to being pain free.

 

Part 3 – India

 

One day I heard a voice. A quiet whisper. It was loud enough to hear and it wouldn’t go away.

I’d become accustomed to listening to these inner whisperings, so I knew it was best not to ignore it. However, this whisper, well it was saying, “Take a Solo Spiritual Pilgrimage to India”.

Alone? I thought.

On my own? I protested.

A single white female in India? I argued.

I couldn’t even use the excuse that there was no internet or cell phones, because it was before the time they were even invented.

Eventually I did buy the plane ticket, but it took me four years to trust that whisper.

The year would be 1999 and I would be 28. Little did I know I was entering into my time of Saturn return. For those of you who have never heard of Saturn return, well in short it’s described as “a crisis that will put you face-to-face with your deepest fears”.

 

Part 3 – to be continued…