I have been uncomfortable lately. Stretching myself, going out of my comfort zone, stepping into the unknown in different areas of my life. This weekend I have been thinking about the importance of refuge, of a safe haven, of retreat. I've been taking inventory of my places of refuge, where I go and what I do to rest, repair, replenish.
When you do a software update on your phone, you don't get to use it. It goes black. It takes a time out to integrate the new information.
We need to do the same.
I'm always glad when someone comes in for a massage and falls asleep or does that in-between twitch that lets me know they've entered the in-between zone where melatonin is working its magic, where cellular repair, upgrades and downloads are happening. When I can help bring them to that state of full reception, where they feel safe, warm, cared for, and free to let go with trust, without worry, I know that they're getting what they need. And maybe they were able to reach that state more deeply and more completely because they had a little bit of help.
That's what the role of the shaman or the priest has always been about. I love going to Mexico because the church doors are always open for you to just walk into, light a candle, take a break and offer it up. There are no "open" hours. They're always open. It's a house of God, 24/7, a place of refuge, sheltered from danger and stress so you can replenish and restore your energy. For women, the red tent was a place that symbolized that as well - safety, love, belonging, a new cycle. Places of refuge can come in all forms - you just have to find the one or ones that best suit you and then go there.
I have a picture of mother Mary in my office. Not because I'm a religious person, but because of the love she symbolizes, the trust she represents of saying yes into the unknown, and the nurturing comfort of mother energy she mirrors in the form of unconditional love. People can come in with all of their imperfections and problems and I look at mother Mary and ask to be a channel for her divinity. I often run the line from a Bob Dylan song in my head while I'm working with people "Come in, she said I'll give ya, shelter from the storm."
When we replenish our energy, our bodies replenish us. And often we can go so much farther if walk through the door of a place that offers that replenishment. Because you're seeking a feeling. You're seeking a state of consciousness that you remember as a spark somewhere inside of you. You're wanting a reminder of who you really are and where you come from. You're looking to plug back into wholeness, peace, and oneness. Source energy.
When you plug yourself into company that you feel safe to be with, vulnerable, seen, accepted, no matter what form you're showing in that moment, and they love you without judgment and say, "come in, I'll give you shelter from the storm," - that's energy you can use. You can use that energy to regain balance, composure, and rejuvenation to go back out into the elements. It's not magical or mystical - it's just deep rest in a loving, safe space.
Energy gives life to life. The more energy we have, the more likely we are to take risks, to have adventures and to remember who we really are - whole, perfect, complete, divine. There's nothing broken. There's nothing to fix. We just need to rest awhile in a place that's safe and warm.