For the people who know me than you know I have a degenerative hip disease and that I will be having my hip replaced next week, for those of you who don't know me, well now you know ;) The only reason why I am bringing this up is that this blog post stems from my hip journey and how one way I helped myself is by seeing Karin Johnston of The Healing Journey. Karin has been so helpful in reminding me/ making me aware of how important it is to take a deep breath and find the peace and calmness that is always with me. Something that I may forget with all the stress that life may throw at me or the stress I put upon myself. "Alternative" therapy I have found through all my navigation through the medical world has been the MOST helpful for my body and my mind. Karin is not only a Brennan Healing Science Practitioner she is one of the most calming, genuine, and kind people I have ever met. She oozes peacefulness and serenity and she is so easy to talk to, I feel so lucky our paths crossed in this life.
I feel her wisdom and practice can help everyone out, and that is why I wanted to do this interview. I believe this post will be helpful to anyone who takes the time to read it, because we all want to feel our best and create the life we want to live, so get ready to start your journey...my interview with Karin Johnston of The Healing Journey....
S:Why do you think most people do not take the time to take that deep breath and relax throughout the day?K:From a very early age we are encouraged to 'do' things, we are not encouraged to 'be' so we don't learn how to stop, we don't learn how to be comfortable with silence or how to be present in the moment. Generally, we are planning the next thing or worrying about the future. We are caught in our identities that who we are is about what we do. When we take a deep breath and relax, if you notice, it gives us access to an aspect of ourselves that is without definition, it is spacious. It's like when we contract and tighten up when it's cold outside and we would actually feel warmer if we relaxed and let the blood flow. It's the same in our daily lives. We unconsciously tighten up and get 'stressed' when we have lots to do when if we took that deep breath and relaxed we would get things done with more clarity and efficiency.
S:What are ways you would suggest to handle daily stress in a more calming way to help "our bodies" from stress overload?K:First of all, it's important to get a good nights sleep. The body repairs and rejuvenates during sleep and I can't say enough about how basic this is for our overall health. Then, as you mentioned above, begin a practice of stopping during the day to breathe and relax. Use some kind of reminder, a note on your mirror or in your car. Put a small stone in your pocket. Something to remind you to stop for a moment. Meditation is great to handle stress and it can help us begin or end our day on a calming note. However, there are practices that are helpful to learn to understand how to meditate. I find most people struggle with meditation thinking it's about getting our minds to stop and meditation turns into just another stress in the day. I would encourage each person to reflect on what allows them to let go. Maybe it's a walk in nature or being with an animal or listening to music. The point is to really be conscious of what you are doing and appreciate the connection with yourself.
S:When did meditation become important in your life and why? How does it help you?K:I've been meditating on and off for 30 years - more off than on for most of it! I would say that it is in the last 10 years that meditation has become fundamental and invaluable to my coping with, understanding, and embracing life as it occurs. This is really a very big question to answer since what I have learned is that it's not me doing meditation. There is no amount of perfecting the ego or personality that gets it to meditate perfectly - it isn't a function of the ego. Meditation (for me) is opening to that spaciousness I mentioned, to the awareness that is witness to all the thoughts and emotions and efforting. Meditation has become the practice that reminds me of this ever-present background of awareness. I'm still living my life and doing all the things I do ,but I remember it all emanates from something universal. There are countless teachings about meditation and many benefits to having a meditation practice. One of the most important is a commitment to wake up.
S:How can a "Healing Journey" experience with you help someone?K:Another big question! What have you forgotten about your true nature? What behaviors do you continue that don't produce the results you want including having more love and joy? How can you feel supported in dealing consciously with disease or trauma or loss? What would it be like for you to feel at home in your body? The possibilities all depend on the client and their willingness to consider that they are more than who they have come to believe they are. Some session are very quiet and the client experiences a level of relaxation they forgot existed. Some sessions are about discovering energetic patterns held in the system - a kind of learned reactivity from early childhood - and doing work to break up the patterns. I work with people pre- and post-surgery to support the whole system in recovery. In many ways, however, it is less about 'fixing' someone and more about expanding their sense of themselves so that the things that were concerns seem smaller and more manageable when they have access to their enormous capacities.
S:Why do we as humans tend to block our own flow and repeat patterns even though we must know deep down inside that these behaviors could be hurting oneself?K:As one of my treasured therapists said, "bad design". Basically she was addressing the human condition. We are conditioned from day one to get our needs met. It is unconscious and primitive. It's all about survival at first. We learn what gets the caregivers and environment to respond. We develop our identities and we get mirrored for being a certain way. Mostly we are going towards pleasure and away from pain. There are lots of patterns or strategies we create and think we need to survive. By the time we are adults we say, " this is who I am." It becomes obvious that our lives are not working in some fundamental way and it's hard to imagine that we have the option to be different. Again, my work is not therapy in the traditional sense. I'm not trying to fix you though it's important to bring patterns into our awareness. My work is a partnership with the client in expanding their awareness, and this is not a mind thing - it's a felt sense - that they are the beauty and strength and joy (and many other qualities) that are always present in the spaciousness. We begin to experience that we are multi-dimensional and notice that it includes the structure of the ego, but is not limited to it. Then we actually start having a choice about the behaviors that are blocking our flow with life.
S:Maybe this is just me, but why does it take work to actually relax?
S:Why do a lot of people feel "stuck" and why is it so hard to get "unstuck"?
S:What are the "road blocks" in most peoples journeys in healing themselves?K:I think the biggest road block is admitting that we want or need healing. Once people have made it to a session with me they are already moving the journey along, they know they want something to be different. Two big road blocks are beliefs and identities - who do I take myself to be and what is or isn't possible? These are rich areas of exploration.
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