Angel, my angel

Sevilla Travel Blog

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The only Reality...is the reality we have inside ourselves.
Herman Hess

A Warning! This is not going to be a deep and meaningful blog. On the contrary, I heard this saying recently and it reminded me of how much I have changed during my life.

I remember as a young girl being painfully shy and constantly wary of about what my friends might be saying about me at school. I was constantly questioning my validity. Even at primary school I have a clear memory of fear and embarrassment, all of it unfounded.

By the time I reached university, my shyness had made way for the passion of youth. Grand ideas of changing the world and being ‘famous’. I’m not quite sure how I’d imagined this to manifest as I was studying for a degree in biotechnology. Maybe I was planning on ending world hunger with a by-product of the brewing industry. After all, most biotechnologists in NZ at that time ended up in either the dairy of the brewing industry!

So I continued to focus on the things around me, inheriting a love of travel from the books I read and the stories of friends.
I wandered through Asia, India and parts of Europe; as was ‘the right of passage’ for every Kiwi ‘post Uni’. What fun I had, embracing cultures, delighting in the sensory battering in India and beginning a life-long love affair with Buddhism in Asia. I was still looking for the magic bullet, my place in the world.

By this time, I had accidentally settled in Australia and now called it home. In the continued pursuit to ‘fit in’ professionally, I completed a post graduate qualification in computing! It was just never going to satisfy me and for years I struggled to make my personality fit the corporate world, even following up with an MBA several years ago.

I’m not quite sure when or how it happened - maybe somewhere along my first walking pilgrimage - the Camino de Santiago (Spain). I realised that the only consistent reality is the one I carry with me second by second. It is not a static reality, but is in a constant state of flux, like a balloon dancing in the freedom of flight.

Since settling here in Spain, I have been much more accepting of myself, more forgiving and lenient. I don’t beat myself up for imagined transgressions or ‘failures’. I accept that everything I experience now is totally on purpose and of my own creation. I love the freedom this now brings to my days.

It is a different pace, a different focus. I now have none of my previous ‘status symbols’ (car, home, nice clothes) but my internal status is definitely more real. I simply do not care what people may be thinking or saying about me.

You might be wondering (or not) why I have chosen to reveal this now. Remember a few weeks ago - I was struggling to find an Osteopath and my neck was delivering some very strong pain messages? Well, I finally found one - referred by a friend.

After waiting 2 weeks for the appointment, I duly showed up at the little clinic 25 minutes away by bike. In preparation for the treatment, I had decided to begin my yoga practice again. For the last two weeks I have risen at 7.00 am to complete a 30 minute shoulder and neck sequence.

My new Osteopath, Angel, spoke some English and went through the mandatory health questions. As the treatment began, I looked forward to some cranio-sacral manipulation to ease the pain.
To my surprise, there was no traditional osteopathic manipulation. His technique was more akin to Reiki with long silent periods when he held his hands gently over various organs and muscles.

At one point he pressed firmly around my diaphragm for up to five minutes. His instructions were to relax, breathe and close my eyes. As usual I resisted until the energy took me to a deeper place and I finally let go. His diagnosis was that my diaphragm is incredibly tight, it is affecting my spine and therefore neck. I have been forgetting to breathe!

Think about it - the very action that keeps you alive and I have been progressively losing the gift of long deep breaths. I know this started almost a year ago as this is when the neck issue began. It is also when I reduced my yoga practice. I understand now.

Everything I need, I have with me, inside me (whether physical or spiritual) and as soon as I don’t take care of it, my body will talk to me.
So now I am practicing yoga daily again (still mat-less) and learning to breathe deep all over again. Is it no accident that my new osteopath is called Angel ?

He is Angel, my angel and I thank him for reminding me to breathe deeply again.
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photo by: JP-NED