When I was 21, I encountered a healer who told me that I was my own best medicine woman. “Everything you seek lives within you. Your medicine sits close to your pain.” She pressed her finger on my heart to emphasize her point.
In that moment, my body recognized her words as truth. There was a flutter of recognition in my heart, some tears on my cheeks, and a momentary softening. I didn’t understand any of it.
For many years, my body was terra incognita. I adorned it, blissfully practiced the whole “my body is a temple” idea, but I never stepped inside. I remained fixed on the threshold.
Growing up with a chronically ill mother, I didn’t know what to do with all my feelings—terror, anger, frustration, guilt, sadness—that grew as she worsened. Feeling them only brought worse pain, so I chose to numb instead. I thought instead of felt.
When the healer pushed on my heart, I woke up inside my body. I came home. The heat of her hand began to melt my rigidity and even some pain. I found yoga soon after, deciding that my mat was a safe route back into myself.
I started slowly. I grew ears on my heart. I took up a practice of deep listening, of staying when I wanted to bolt, of breathing when I wanted to freeze.
Seventeen years later, I’m still discovering the vastness of my earth. Each yoga practice serves as a post card of the day’s travels. Riding a Camel, I rediscovered my voice. Folding with Pigeon, I learned how my breath could move old pain. Standing in Tree, I felt my ancestors reach down for me as I reached up for them.
Now a healer in my own right, I understand what my teacher told me. At some point in your life, you’ll find yourself back on your body’s doorstep. You’ll be a little afraid to step over the threshold. Go! The light inside beckons. You’ve been cold on the outside for too long. Step inside. What you seek is right there. Having sought you in return, it welcomes you home. No judgment. Arms open. Love on the heart.