Here is a problem/puzzle I am wondering at these days. In the very early days of my work a wonderful healer, Jean Schweitzer, suggested that I needed to engage more directly with practices of reverence to keep myself clear as I touched trauma clients and witnessed absurd amounts of pain. This was very helpful. Over the years a number of ideas, practices, and disciplines have been used. My capacity to be with others pain grew and my own fatigue in the work lessened. The spiritual gift of being able to sense another’s pain and to release it became encased in tones of reverence, a practiced discipline. A second skin comes in proper sequence for balance and clearing.
Now here’s the hitch. One goes on sabbatical to rest from the work and reassess how to proceed after 25 years of good works. One stops touching and teaching and following the sense of pain seeking to be of help. And so where does that wisdom of the second skin come into play? Where in the daily living is one to find what has been associated work when no work is allowed?
Rest goes well. I feel much of the physical fatigue has lifted. I can read about torture with interest once again and even allow myself to wonder how long would it take me to teach about to torture at every monthly meeting in my yearly meeting- but not allow myself thought beyond wonder.
I’ve always taught that gratitude is the prow of being/becoming graceful. I can feel my gratitude increase with rest and space and time without schedule. But I need to find some ways to implement moments, breaks in the rhythm of the day, and routine-ize some reverence where in the care for myself during sabbatical has the same quality of Light and grace as my former work in the world. Is that right? It seems so but I am still wondering about this.
Does the intention of being spiritual for the self carry different qualities? Does all my learning have to be vicarious? I learned of my own learning disabilities teaching children to read. I freed my own body of years of old fear as I changed my body in preparing to work on others’ bodies. Always teaching becomes simple reminders of what I know but don’t always do- do I learn so reluctantly? Changes, shift of routine, learning to trust mid-air – these are always my biggest learnings. That and not taking betrayal so personally. Life long teachings for me that seem to come in various forms over and over.
There does seem to be a blessing with non-verbal physical work. What feelings, ideas, wonderings that need to float up do so better when simply stacking firewood, building a stonewall, or painting the bedroom.
The grace or Light that comes upon me as I go into work washes all worry, clears posture, eliminates doubt, and makes a full sense of well-being and that all good possibilities are within reach- such a deal.