The Magic of You
Happy New Moon in Aries and Spring Equinox from Sedona!
Today marks a special phase in our seasonal cycle, as we celebrate a full solar eclipse (was visible this morning in parts of Europe) and the beginning of Spring. This is a day to welcome new growth and transformation and say goodbye to the colder, more binding aspects of the self. During this magical phase, it is a good idea to spend quality time on the land and take in the aromas and sounds of the plant and animal kingdom. As you walk or meditate outdoors, soften your eyes and with practice, you will be able to see the soft outer layer of vibrational energy surrounding the landscape and all living things. This is life force energy and is what we are all composed of. Its essence is high-octane, juicy, energetic, invigorating, and alive.
As humans, we have endured and continue to endure challenging circumstances that take a toll on mind-body-spirit. Such traumas may be pre/post natal, developmental, accident-related, or inflicted by others, and each incidence reaps havoc on the body’s vitality and systems (muscular, respiratory, nervous, emotional, endocrine etc.) The beautiful matrix of energy that we are composed of, that surrounds us, and that connects us with all living things can become disrupted like an beautiful spider web torn by a wind-swept branch. Repair of our inner web is needed.
Metaphorically speaking, this web houses the unseen: emotions, memories, intellect, and mental pathways. Within the physical plane of existence, this web is tangible and wraps around every living cell in our body. It is called fascia (connective tissue) and it is one of the most psychedelic, wondrous substances you can get your hands on. Within us exist a fractal of liquid, crystalline energy that takes the form of collagen fibers. It moves, shifts, tears, and transforms depending on what kind of impact has been placed on the system. It can sustain two thousands pounds of pressure per square inch and either houses, or composes every structure in the body.
Why is this important?
First of all, it is trippy as hell and when you really dive into your body’s inner matrix, mind-blowing things start to happen. But more importantly, once you start to understand what your inner world is made out of, and how it responds to stimuli from the outside world, your path to healing becomes more clear and user-friendly. As you start to understand how to heal yourself, injuries and pain become less frequent, and for some, non existent. This healing process is completely congruent with that kind of presence you bring to your own life, including learning about your nervous system and how it responds to past trauma and present challenges.
I began studying bodywork and teaching yoga in 1998 while I was in college at U.C. Santa Cruz. I had been a gymnast my whole childhood and started practicing yoga in my mid teens. Like many people starting off with Vinyasa-flow and Ashtanga, I thought that was the yoga path for me. As gymnastics and power-yoga injuries started to flare up, I “pushed through” because I thought yoga would eventually correct those injuries. I was wrong. I continued to practice the same kind of yoga for another eight years until my SI/L4 strain and shoulder instability finally got their messages across. My conscious mind, drive-centered acrobat, and pseudo-yogini ego had a hard time listening to these messages. Eventually, I got it, and now after twenty years of practicing yoga, I have learned to slow down, work gently with the areas of strain, and stop practicing forms of yoga and movement that feel forceful or invasive. I practice for my body and my needs and teach others to do the same.
I became a massage therapist in 2000, which is when I also began working with healing from an esoteric perspective. For years I studied and practiced energy healing and deep bodywork modalities. Although those approaches offered good results to my clients, the effects were temporary. Something was missing (massage therapists reading this know what I am talking about). People felt better after their sessions but were they really transforming their system, or understanding why they hold their patterns in the first place?
In order to better understand that question, I went to graduate school to learn about the body in reference to psychological processes, and received a clinical degree in Somatic Psychology. I work with all ages, but primarily college-aged young adults between the ages of 17-28. The work is profound, yet does not target the physical structure, just as most physical bodywork modalities target some kind of structural component, but do not address the psyche and patterns of imbalance in the inner matrix.
Finally after twenty years of yoga, movement, bodywork, and in the last six years, psychotherapeutics, I found the missing link for all these beautiful approaches: Myofascial Release (MFR). It is difficult to explain this work, as its true essence is about moving into the unknown, unseen, and non-intellectual aspects of the system, both inner and outer. It is a hybrid of structural work and deep somatic-emotional release. Myofasical release targets the profound, ever-changing, liquid matrix of our inner selves, both physiologically and psycho-somatically. Transformation is powerful, succinct, never injures, and the body’s inner intelligence is given a voice. This is not unlike a somatic psychotherapy session, where the therapist utilizes subtle, physical interventions to elucidate sympathetic nervous system responses. Yet in addition to having a sounding board like one has in psychotherapy, the inner system has a tangible experience of transformation, as indicated by movement in the fascial system. The entire experience can be completely non-verbal.
In MFR, the therapist facilitates piezoelectricity in the system, and a phase transduction can occur (like ice to water). The vibrant, fluid energy that our beings are composed of can flow more freely, like water flowing over rocks in a canyon (John Barnes, 2015). In as little as one myofascial session, clients will feel more ease in their body and a light, magnetic buzz, which is the body vibrating from new-found space and vitality. This work eliminates pain, reduces stress, and supports you to become more aligned with who you truly are. Consistent treatment also ameliorates innate body wisdom, which therefore assists us to eventually treat ourselves without a practitioner.
A whole mind-body shift can occur when we make an active choice to dive deeper into the parts of ourselves that have been injured, neglected, abused, and avoided. I am thrilled to have added this powerful healing tool to my belt and invite you to book a session with me soon.
Much love and Happy Spring,
Book an appointment
Introduction to Yoga Weekend
Where: Santa Barbara Yoga Center
When: April 24-26
True Self Exploration & The Art of Somatic and Relational Psychology: Tools for Self Empowerment and Growth
Where: Lucidity Festival
When: April 12th, 2015
Yoga Retreat to Peru: May 21-30
Giddy Up, Welcome Year of the Horse! Also: Musings, Workshops & $40 off Bodywork
There seem to be myriad practical and celestial events colluding in our favor right now. Be them occult, financial, interpersonal, or otherwise, such aspects are here to support us, and the most important way to embrace their innate wisdom is to slow down and pay attention.
Today marks the second new moon in January, also called the “Black Supermoon”, or “Perigree full/Perigree new” moon. This means the moon will appear as much as 14% larger and 30% brighter than a normal day. We must snack on metaphorical food here because you are not going to actually see this moon 🙂 For example, there is RAPID growth and transformation available to all of us right now. There is a bold newness to the times we are living in, and like a divine waiter, the universe is handing us a savory plate and asking us to take a bite. The wave-like aberrations of 2013 are starting to settle, and the tide is pulling back for us to see what is really necessary for the Path. If you are brave and willing to be real with yourself and those around you, the sky is the limit, albeit frightening at times. If you decide to go with business-as-usual methodologies and avoid your soul’s calling…. well…. good luck with that. You will be able to for a a short while, but I recommend pragmatically seizing this energetic cycle. Dive mindfully into whatever vision, creative recipe, or love connection that serves your highest good right now.
And Then Comes the Horse…
The Chinese believe that this new cycle commences the year of the Wood Horse (during the second new moon, after the winter solstice, which is today). This year offers us the opportunity to run with the passion of a wild horse in a glorious field. The energy can be impulsive, so it’s important to keep up mindfulness-based practices and quiet time, as not to get lost in the race. Impulsive purchases, business decisions, and erratic romantic choices are probably not a good idea. Horses also offer us the ability to be strong and act with steadfast conviction, so this is a great year to get shit done. We are being faced with real and honest truth right now. Hiding behind the antiquated, habitual behavior of 2013 will no longer serve us. If you are called to do something more profound, and more infused with love and service, this is an era where the proverbial solicitor of your Destiny will be selling you girl scout cookies, and you will like the flavor.
Here are some phrases that may sound familiar. If they do, I have offered some reframes.
“I’m just going to go with the flow even though this flow doesn’t quite feel right”
Reframe: “I acknowledge that this situation does not feel right. I am going to choose a better way that feels good”
“I cannot be myself around ____, but I feel stuck with him or her and don’t know how to move away”
Reframe: “My energy is sacred. I am conscious about who I share it with and choose to surround myself with people who inspire me, and support me to be more of who I am”
“This work situation does not serve my highest good, nor make me happy”
Reframe: “I am going to continue to explore options that support me to do what I am meant to do in this lifetime”
Reframe: “I commit to small steps each week that support my purpose, creativity, and authentic Self”
I hope some of these words will help you realize your full potential and just how amazing you are. Wishing you all the best in 2014 and Beyond…
Re: Healing Arts & Bodywork, mention this post to receive $40 off your next session! I am running this special through the entire month of February just to say thank you, and also give you all a little more incentive to take care of yourself this year. $60/hour instead of $100.
You are also welcome to use this promotion for GIFT CERTIFICATES for your loved ones, for Valentines day or beyond. Please note* This promotion applies to in-office sessions only. Special February outcall (in-home) rate is $100/hour (instead of $130). Like us on Facebook
Next Introduction to Yoga Weekend Course & Yoga Immersion
February 21, 22, 23
Sat/Sun 2-4pm $50
Offered as a three-week or one-weekend course, the Introduction to Yoga Course is the perfect place to begin the exploration of Yoga. This course is also perfect for those of you with yoga experience wishing to reawaken your interest and resume your practice.A short series of slower paced, informative classes will provide you with a strong foundation in the practice of Yoga and prepare you for ongoing beginning and mixed level classes.
- A brief discussion of the historical and philosophical background of Yoga
- The study and practice of the fundamental Yoga postures including correct body positioning and alignment
- detailed instruction on how to combine breath and movement
More info? Click Here
And please write a Yelp Review of Transformative Healing Arts if you are a Yelp user. Many Thanks! -Romi
Special Retreat Offering: Journey to the Sacred Valley of Peru
& Machu Picchu – May 8-17 2014
This May, join Romi Cumes for a transformational retreat to the Sacred Valley of Peru. This top-quality, ten day package beings and ends in the beautiful city of Cusco. Guests stay at the exquisite Willka T’ika Garden Retreat Center in the heart of the Sacred Valley of the Inca.
Beauty & Sacred Sites
Each day, enjoy the rich scenery of Machu Picchu, Cusco and other incredible Incan sites, before returning home to Willka T’ika’s spectacular Chakra Gardens, luxury accommodations, and home-grown organic cuisine. Founder of Willka T’ika, Carol Cumes, will be offering a special garden tour to introduce guests to the gardens and Incan medicinal plants. Guests receive first-class guide service to sacred Incan sites, villages, and ruines in Cusco, the Sacred Valley and Machu Picchu. Overnight accommodations while in Cusco and Machu Picchu are also included in this package, as well as a day trip to an isolated Quechua mountain school, sponsored by the Willka T’ika Children’s Fund.
Healing & Cultural Enrichment
The rich cultural and cosmological landscape of Peru will guide you on a journey of deep healing and transformation. Romi draws from fifteen years of healing arts, yoga, movement, and counseling training to effusively inspire people to live up to their highest potential. Her light-hearted approach encourages participants to experience joy and ease during the radical ride of self-discovery. While staying at Willka T’ika, guests are given the option to deepen their healing journey via private intuitive bodywork, or somatic therapy sessions with Romi. These sessions greatly enhance each individual’s journey. Group yoga, breath-work, meditation, and nature-awareness sessions will be facilitated daily.All Inclusive Ten day, Nine night Retreat: $3100
About your Leader
Romi Cumes MA, MFTI, LMT, is a Psychotherapist intern, Bodyworker, Yoga Instructor, and Performance Artist with over fifteen years of experience. She assists people to embody their most authentic state of Being, so they may live in a more full and balanced way. Drawing from a background in somatic psychology, Romi integrates clinical training with intuitive capabilities to proactively work with physical/emotional distress, trauma, and psycho-spiritual blockages. Romi has been traveling to Peru for over twenty years to offer healing arts, yoga, and visit her mother Carol, the founder of Willka T’ika and the travel company Magical Journey. Romi founded Transformative Healing Arts in 2004 and is currently in private practice in Santa Barbara, California. For more info visit RomiCumes.com or like her page for updates