When I first place my hands on a client for a bodywork session, I consciously open my senses and imagination. I always ask: What is going on with the her or him right at this moment? What do I feel in the tissues? What do I sense in the energetic flow? What images or words appear? Often, this is encapsulated by the question (which I silently ask): What is your nature? My curiosity and inquiry flow through my touch, and the movements and sensations that arise within my client help guide me in what she or he needs.

Sometimes I ask a different question: What kind of nature would be helpful for my client right now? Recently, I was with a client who was mentally and energetically spinning from a very full professional and personal life, laden with a multitude of cares and concerns. As I lay my palms on her breastbone and belly, I sensed into what manifestation of nature I could embody. Immediately I saw the image of a Tibetan yak.

As I let my hands rest and settle into my client's relaxing body, I imagined and felt myself as a steadfast, solid and extremely grounded yak, impervious to distraction. In my sensory imagination, I was lying on the ground, slowly chewing cud, gazing around the Tibetan grasslands I had seen in Michael Palin's BBC series "Himalaya." (A great series which I highly enjoyed and recommend for its beauty and sense of calm.)

I was enjoying myself immensely. As someone who loves to move and play in the imaginal realm, this was great fun. At the same time, I watched and felt my client drop into a place of deep rest. When at last she resurfaced and opened her eyes, she remarked that she felt much calmer, clearer and relieved from the stress/distress that had been spinning inside of her.

I love this way of playing/working: I am not losing my sense of self, but rather I am meeting my client with my own creative energy while being resonant with what she or he needs and it is effective for my clients. 

Every session is an adventure, and this time around I was very grateful for the grounding medicine of the Tibetan yak.

Image courtesy of Highland Titles

Image courtesy of Highland Titles

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Authormegan brians
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Every morning I take the subway from Brooklyn to Manhattan to go to work. My ride starts like this: 

After a couple stops, the train goes underground. The tunnel looks like this:

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Now, mind you, inside the train it's bright and well-lit, but a bunker-like atmosphere settles into the train car. As I've talked to friends and clients, I've noticed how everyone has different sensibilities and sensitivities riding the NYC subway: some react to smells, others are nervous about germs, some can't stand being close to people and others are overwhelmed with all the different energies of people swirling about. When I feel the atmospheric shift in the subway car and a constriction in my body, I send a thread of awareness through the tunnel and out to the beach of Coney Island, where the train terminates in Brooklyn. In my body and in my mind's eye it feels and looks something like this:

I will feel an immediate relief, sensing the open sky and the lively waters of the ocean pouring out onto the beach.

Then I send another thread of awareness to the other end of the line, Queens-bound, to the outdoor tracks in Astoria. It looks like this:

Feeling that I am on a ride that is bookended by outdoor space and wide sky, I feel myself settle, become calmer and I breathe more easily. If I lose the threads, I send them again. At last I will arrive at my stop and go upstairs and reunite with the outdoors.

 

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Authormegan brians