Do Something for Its Own Sake: Living with Authenticity

healing, somatic, somatic healing, somatic psychology, yoga, santa barbara healing, somatic psychology

Authenticity

Writing blog posts and staying connected to clients and friends virtually is an interesting process. I want to stay connected and remind people of what I offer, all the while trying not to bombard them with extraneous articles or self-promoting spiritual rhetoric. It can certainly feel inauthentic and counter-intuitive to “sell” healing-focused services, yet people do it every day and business is business, right? Not really. I think a lot about authenticity and what it means for each of us. I especially ponder this in the morning, just before having coffee and figuring out how much time I have to either meditate, stretch, or frantically run around and get shit done. My father has more integrity than anyone I know and he always tells me to “do something for its own sake”.  Even when my ego puts a banana peel underneath my integrity, I strive to have that statement be my life-mantra.

Attempting to market something as intimate as psychotherapy, bodywork, and healing can feel like inter-psychic tight-rope walking. Authenticity is important and it cannot always coexist with ego-driven marketing approaches; at least not for me. I have an enormous amount of respect for individuals who are able to professionally put themselves out there while operating from the heart. It is a meaningful skill and something to be proud of.

There are so many ways to express meaning in our day-to-day experiences, yet often authenticity seems to slip through the cracks of good intentions and productive life goals. Have you ever found yourself moving along the path, mostly in alignment with what you are meant to do, yet somehow forgetting how you got to that path in the first place? Or do you wonder what would have happened if you took a different route? It is natural to question things and challenge ourselves to do better and be in alignment with our destiny. It is also important to stay in touch with the lived experience of life in the body, as not to get swept away by critical thinking or mental confusion.

In other words, challenge yourself to be authentic every single day, but also cut yourself a little slack.

Some steps to tap into AUTHENTICITY and support LIFE FLOW.

Gratitude

Take a moment to pause and be grateful for what you have. Visualize what you’re grateful for, honor it, and be thankful for it.

Breathe

One great practice is taking slow breaths for a minute or so, and then doing an easy pranayama: Inhale 4, hold 8, Exhaling 4. Practice for five + minutes.

Sense

Where do you feel sensations? What do they feel like? Assign adjectives to the sensations. Are there emotions you can associate with those sensations?

Write

After taking some minutes to do the above, write out your goals or authenticity-driven plans for that day, week, year. Then check back in with your body. Does it feel spacious and connected to what your are writing? Or restricted and lacking resonance? Usually our bodies will inform us of what we need to know and if what we are working on is in alignment with our path. This isn’t to say everything we do professionally or personally must always feel peachy. Life is full of ups and downs and it’s our biologically job to ride the wave as long as we can; ideally guided with compassion and insight. Body awareness and mindfulness enable us to live with more authenticity and grace. It’s that simple. The next time you are questioning what is going on in your life, or how to be more authentic, slow down and sense; and then maybe grab a pen and get curious about your next steps.

Other tidbits about Romi can be found on Facebook or Instagram @romicumes

Psychotherapy, Humanity and Service

Psychology, Psychotherapy, Santa Barbara Psychotherapy, Somatic Psychology Santa Barbara, Somatic Psychotherapy Southern California, Santa Barbara Somatic Psychotherapy

Greetings,

I haven’t been posting finished writing pieces or newsletters much for the few months. Not for lack of inspiration, but due to a professional hibernation of sorts, and the bear is slowly sensing her way into spring. For the last seven years, I have been studying psychology, and to be frank, it has been quite a daunting task. For some years after graduate school, I have chipped away at the block of three thousand hours that must be acquired to become a licensed psychotherapist. Although I have managed to run a healing arts business simultaneously, having multiple irons in various proverbial fires has been a challenge for me. The common motivational denominator of my productive madness has been healing, however scattering myself around like a squirrel has yielded a half-chewed nut collection. Life is constantly offering us new opportunities to practice yoga in its truest form, and I feel grateful for the constant reminders.

Yoga Citta Vrtti Nirodhah

When you are in a state of yoga, all misconceptions (vrittis) that can exist in the mutable aspect of human beings (chitta) disappear.

Transformative Healing Arts is largely in effect, but given the shifting nature of my personal and academic efforts, it is, well, transforming. Some professional offerings have taken the back burner including: group Hatha yoga classes and classical massage methods. Currently, my only public yoga offering takes place Monday nights at 5:15pm at the Santa Barbara Yoga Center. All levels are welcome. And as wonderful as classical massage is (I still love offering it), please note that my model is becoming quickly sublimated by the profound workings of Myofascial Release, Cranial Sacral Therapy, and Somatic Awareness.

Click here to learn more or email me to book an appointment. If you are in Southern California, mention this blog post to receive 20% off your next session.

A few more words about my process, your potential process, and being a facilitator of psychotherapy and somatic education…

The process of holding space for wounded, traumatized, and divinely inspired human beings has been one of the more profound experiences of my life. If someone asked me years ago how I felt about becoming a psychotherapist, I would never have pictured myself in that role. I thought I was too sensitive or too psychic. I thought I couldn’t handle the pain of the world, nor hear people talk about it. The truth is, I can handle it; and we all have the capacity to support others, especially when we give ourselves a chance to be the light we were born to be and step away from separatism.

You do not need a license to be empathetic and care for your fellow wo(man). It is possible for you to open up just a little bit more and reach out to people, even when it makes you a little or a lot uncomfortable. Inversely, are you able to reach out when you are in need? What are your self-care practices and who is it that you can depend on? These are important questions because the answers relate to you being taken care of and becoming the most loving, supportive being possible. You also have the power within you to  transform another person’s life with your presence. So that being said, whatever your chosen path is at the moment, I hope it’s feeding your soul. I hope you wake up and feel good about the work you are about to do. And if your ‘pay the bills’ job does not evoke growth in yourself or others, your creative interests and volunteer efforts can.

In sitting with our own pain, or the pain of others, we are offered a beautiful gift: our humanity. And given the impermanent nature of the universe, everything has the capacity to shift and grow, expand and renew. Mindfulness practices, specifically somatic and relational awareness practices, remind us of the tangible, visceral human experience. And it is through that innate knowing and felt sense, that we may rewire years of pain and misunderstanding, and remind ourselves of the powerful, divine essence we are comprised of.

Best Wishes in 2016,

-Romi

 

Facebook Page

Interesting Article on the Power Empathy

Transformative Healing Arts

Blog

Feel Good in Your Body in 2014

Photo: Kimberly Green
Photo: Kimberly Green

Speaking of resolutions and new years and all that….I felt inspired to bust out a little fitness inspiration this evening because WE ALL NEED IT. It is fascinating how this thing (exercise) that makes us feel so amazing (dopamine, yay!) is also something some individuals are fervently resistant to. When students or friends ask me questions about having a strong core, or having the “toned abs” thing, here is what I say… Be consistent. You don’t have to do a lot of exercise to be healthy and in shape. You DO need a CONSISTENT PRACTICE that involves strong blasts of exercise, almost every day.

Yoga doesn’t have to be a 90 minute class. Your gym stint, hike or run doesn’t have to be a hour to be effective, but do KEEP YOUR PACE UP to see better results and improved cardio vascular health. Although there are a lot of gimmicks out there, the “7 minute” Ab thing can work, if you do it 4-7 times a week (ideally mixed with cross-training).  Ride your bike to the store, a meeting, or your friend’s party. You should do that anyway to reduce your carbon footprint, and you might meet an attractive eco-hipster along the way. Just remember to not act so cool you forget your helmet like this guy…

xBiker-Cyclist-Pants-The-Climber-Outlier.jpeg.pagespeed.ic._-OqXWmL4p

Just do SOMETHING, almost every day. I promise you’ll be feeling so good and so into it, you will start extending those 7-20 minute time windows to 60-90 minutes.

And first and foremost, do your best to love your body and tell your inner critic to take a hike, he or she doesn’t help your progress or confidence. The incisive, less-than-elegant prose of the inner critic is deeply saturated with environmental conditioning or self-deprecating hoo-haw most likely projected onto us when we were young, vulnerable, and impressionable. Which is why it is even MORE IMPORTANT to..

MEDITATE, Yo.

“Yoga chitta vritti nirodha” – Yoga is the cessation of the fluctuations (whirlpool) of the mind (thought)

-Patangali’s Yoga Sutra

meditation page pic

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Calming the mind via meditation and yoga supports us to feel more spacious inside and out. A mindfulness practice is like a Zen slayer, who unhooks the insolent talons of chitta (mental chatter) and reminds our inner waters to flow quietly, sans whirlpool (vritti). It may take some time, but a true Yogi tirelessly attempts to peacefully slay that darn chitta like some kind of Hunger Games apparition. If you are a beginner or busy, try meditating for ten minutes 3-7x per week and slowly progress to 20-30 minutes. Practicing in the morning will support you to feel clear, empowered and sparkly for your day.

mfln8l

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Take it from me, I am a masterful procrastinator, and will find every reason to stay on my computer or organize things until I have to run out the door, only to feel disappointed with myself or self-critical that I didn’t do something active. One thing that helps me, is looking at the clock about a hour before I have to leave and committing to take at least 10-30 of those minutes for myself; to sweat, move, sit, or find a hill somewhere. When I can carve out 2 hours and hit the mountains, gym or a class even better.  The point is, it’s OK to take only 10-20 minutes to be active. It’s better than sitting on your bum, or getting drained by Facecrack, a project, or the news.

Speaking of Abs, here are a few core-strengthening options you can do which also strengthen the arms and legs (especially if you do them all).  Lately I have been into this 15 minute workout my busy Ph.D candidate friend recommended. If he can do it and write a 1000 page dissertation, so can we! It’s even more effective when mixed with other activities, or practiced on off-cardio days.

Have a beautiful 2014 and remember to MOVE YOUR BODY and CALM YOUR MIND. You will be handsomely rewarded.

One love

-Romi