Ready, set, stuck…

After years of living abroad, exploring my inner self and the World around, I finally feel I have a purpose. What is important to me is clear.

Yet, I am still stuck.

 

I’m trying to move toward that direction but it feels like I am dragging a 10-wheelers along with me. Not saying that steps aren’t made. But cyclic patterns of staleness make any progress feel like an illusion. I’m telling myself it is part of the process. That the steps are significative. A belief that allows me to cope with the fear of permanent staleness. Or even worse…a downward spiral.

Life is simpler, however. All unrelated distractions are being filtered out. Should be the end of my inner journey, right?
Yet doesn’t feel as so.

_______

I am now living in Chiangmai, Thailand.

As I explore my life through the lens of movement, I sought to connect with the movement community.

A wonderful friend of mine introduced me to Simba, another movement practitioner. Simba invited me to his Wednesday movement pattern class. Not only did I had a great time, but found someone I could share movement thoughts and observations with.

As I felt more comfortable to share, the conversation drifted toward my life’s journey until now. And how I felt stuck.

I also came to understand that Simba was much more than a movement practitioner. He and his life’s partner Sara offer holistic lifestyle coaching here in Chiangmai.

They created a beautiful space. A sense of serenity transpires you as soon as you step through the front gate. I could understand why people would come in for healing retreats.

I wasn’t new to healing. I underwent a little introspective journey myself before making the move to Asia. I had no clue what I wanted in life then but felt I had reached the bottom of my inner realm and was now time to figure it out.

A few years later, here I was, steadily oriented toward my path. But steadily immobilized at the starting line. It was time to start digging again. Deeper into the so-called bottom of my inner realm.

The space invited me. And felt no inner resistance to come along.

_______

Our mind can pull us in any direction. Where our spirit can only push us toward our deeper path.

I long lost the energy and will to strenuously pull myself around. But although I finally see light on my path, I am way too heavy to be carried away by the gentle push of my spirit.

It seems to be the right time to alleviate some of that weight. And this definitely is the right place—here at Living with the Spirit.

 

The first step

With that resonating in me, I booked my first free consultation with Sara & Simba.

On the day of, both greeted me with open arms. We then skimmed through the formalities and immediately dove into my story.

A bit of shyness restrains how much is shared as I usually don’t speak of my inner experiences. Especially when fears to overwhelm the practitioner, or being labeled and alienated are constantly whispering.

But Sara & Simba created a space without judgment nor pressure to share. And emphasized how this was my path and I could navigate it at my own pace.

“We are not here to give you answers. But to give you the awareness of the variables at stake, along with the confidence to explore them. Thus facilitating your own path to healing.”

Hearing this, I felt safe to be vulnerable. To be at the edge of my emotions without any fear of being hurt nor repressed.

I’ve only felt that with very few people. The closest thing would be my parents. But sometimes there is history and luggage with such close ones. Wherewith Sara & Simba, no history nor scars were present. Only this moment was. And they offered it with genuine care that would normally take years to develop.

And if I was going to go through this journey, I wanted everything known on the table from the get-go. I thus wanted to share everything. Even what got me labeled “mentally ill” in the past.

So I started talking…

_______

After a while, I realized this first consultation wasn’t only about me assessing whether Sara & Simba were a good fit for me. But also whether if I was a good fit for them.

If I had come with expectations. Imposing how and what we should tackle first. Not allowing them to be themselves in their approach—it wouldn’t have worked.

I must be open to them, as they must be open to me.

 

Healing is a two-way relationship.

 

A one-way relationship is not healthy for anyone, regardless of who’s on the upper hand. At the sight of it, Sara & Simba would have reoriented me toward a more suitable alternative for my clinging demands.

Their role is only to provide a space for me to step down into my inner basement. And to support me with the angst of being alone. Only acting as a torch shedding light into the darkness until I find my own. And nurture me to build a stronger and stronger flame.

So after hearing my backstory, they asked me: “Why are you here?”

“I’m here because I do not want to hide no more. I want to be part of the human conscious pool. Contribute my drop and let others soak me. I do not fear to be wet anymore…I am ready to share who I am and what explorations are dear to me.”

“But I am stuck, and apparently scared to do this alone. I want to face what is holding me back. And give me the gift of emotional, physical, spiritual freedom.”

“This is why I am here.”

Sara: “Fine. This is what we do. Let’s start…”

 

Release, set, go…

Before starting, Sara & Simba sent me lots of questionnaires to fill and tests to take. All major aspects of health were covered. Current lifestyle assessment, stress level, and sleep quality, food log, medical history, kidney filtration test, to name a few.

At first glance, it was daunting. But the online platform facilitated the process. The details and professionalism of the tests and platform amazed me.

Usually, holistic practitioners tend to be “loose” in their life. Not the most vigorous professionals, but the soul is there. Professionals who are “rigid” in nature only pretend to be holistic. They provide a well-structured content, but an empty one. Soulful holistic practitioners who also provide clarity and professional services are rare. Sara & Simba were the first I met.

So after doing all assessments, I started to see a pattern in my life. I saw how things intertwine, what I could take out, what aspect to tackle first, etc. I started making my own opinion on how things should be done. A bit ironic as I had an opposite attitude during the initial meeting Sara & Simba.

In any case, I ended up coming to our next session with this mindset.

_______

Always welcoming and cozy, Sara & Simba sat with me and started to explain how we would proceed. So we sat down in front of a whiteboard. Sara & Simba laid out the various spheres of healing. And explained how they interconnected with each other.

We then looked at my test results together. Identified what sphere needed more initial attention. Looked at different perspectives together. Evaluated what we should nurture first. And brainstormed implementation strategies together.

The most heartening aspect was we did it together.

I had a voice. All was done together. My experiences and opinions were not rejected. They were embraced and integrated into the process.

At one point, I caught myself justifying certain of my behaviors. And implicitly protecting long-held beliefs by looking for alternative solutions.

I was resisting change.

All because I thought I was doing the right things already. I thought I was ready to change. But apparently only to a certain extent. So long for that “open mind” of mine.

No wonder I was stuck.

Having said that, resistance was a positive sign. Resistance meant I was going deep. It indicated I was stirring things up. It was the initial resistance of the ground beneath me, as I was scooping light in.

Sara & Simba were sensible enough to recognize it. And blended well together to facilitate each scoop. They changed phrasings. Brought new variables. Tinted perspective. Petted my shivered ego. All to scaffold my emotional distress. In other words—eased swallowing the pill.

But the actual work is about accepting the discomfort of the pill. Not about fearing the pill. Opening myself to change.

Doing this alone can be difficult…but I wasn’t alone anymore.

_______

So here I am home with a clear plan, reflecting on my new journey.

We thought it would be a good idea to journal my observations and emotions. As to track progress and patterns, and give me another expressive outlet.

Catching myself giving resistance was interesting. Especially when I came in with a so-called “open mind”. Seeing that deeply I was not as open as I initially thought. I thought I knew what I needed to do. An illusion that helped to cope with the reality of my staleness. Hiding that I am alone, scared, and yearning for support.

But now it’s time to move.

It doesn’t mean rejecting the past. I still embrace those experiences. But I am not shackled by them anymore.

I see now that to move I must have an open mind.

Clinging to past practices, even if beneficial at the time, generates staleness. In retrospective, they were only beneficial as I picked them up. Picking up implies an open mind. Thus the open-minded state seems to be the crucial element. And the practice itself irrelevant. Even if it was to be based on scriptures.

Movement with an open mind is healing.

Even if I have knowledge about a few things. It doesn’t matter. Let the practitioner be. Artists make their own creative web. How it’s designed nor the material of the thread matters. If it is an artful web where I can freely flow, it will be the catalyst for my healing process.

Sara & Simba are two life artists on their own spiritual journey. Who created a haven for me and others to move in. Catalyzing healing for open-minded souls on their spiritual journey.

And that was what I found at Living with the Spirit…after “a little” resistance.