I usually run fast away from anything that has the word ‘healing’ associated with it. The mere word triggers an angry reaction in me that there’s something broken that needs fixing, that I’m vulnerable or impaired, to be felt sorry for. I feel patronised.
But… I ended up at a Yin workshop yesterday that was all about healing! It was based loosely around the traditional archetypes of warrior and healer, opposite innate characteristics that we might look to balance out. I like to paint myself as all fighter: strong, dignified, independent. And yet… beyond this I also have bucket loads of tenderness and a depth of compassion so deep that it often hurts.
Warrior vs healer?
But the workshop theme reminded me that these are not so much opposites but simply different expressions of one being. It’s not about signing up for one archetype or another! There is sure strength in the healer archetype, in the open-hearted courage needed to look honestly at vulnerability and pain, just as there is a shadow side to the warrior which can verge on arrogance and disrespect or martyrdom.
After discussion and anecdotes presented with humour, wisdom and dignity (and no patronising tones at all!), the teacher led us through a Yin practice. We were called on to let go of all expectations and simply experience the poses however they showed up in our bodies. A curious experience to watch: to witness so much resistance and tension in my body, to invite some softening and feel myself open a little until hard instinct took over each time and I had to begin over gently allowing myself to let go again. But the space had been created to do this without judgment or frustration. A little yoga magic here. The magic was in the simple act of witnessing.
There were many beautiful words offered during the afternoon, but this poem by David Whyte is one that always moves me:
Enough. These few words are enough.
If not these words, this breath.
If not this breath, this sitting here.
This opening to the life
we have refused
again and again
After this deep peace, my friend and I ‘opened to life’ by sharing a glass of champagne followed by dinner. The yang of indulgent alcohol balanced by the yin of simple raw food maybe 🙂 ! We balanced our conversation too with some deep-and-meaningfuls and lots of laughter.
It was a life-affirming day.
A day of hope and of gladness.
A day where everything seemed enough.
With heartfelt gratitude to my beautiful friend (and loyal reader!) for such a wonderful day of sharing and togetherness.
ॐ शान्तिः शान्तिः शान्तिः