Things I do to stay in good mental health are maintaining a good work-life balance, eating healthy foods, exercising, meditating, spending time with friends and family, listening to music, crocheting, and knitting. Usually there is something in this repertoire that can help me out when I need it.
Today I tried something new for my mental health. I had a restorative energy session with my yoga instructor. I've never done "energy work" before (as people who are in the know seem to call it) and I didn't know what to expect. I wore clothes suitable for exercise and brought my yoga mat.
It started with a long conversation with my yoga instructor. Among other things, she asked about my medical treatment, old injuries (physical and mental), and fears. During this interview I realized that for a long time my biggest fear was that my cancer would come back. Now that this fear has become my reality, I don't harbor very much fear anymore. Only two fears, really: 1) mild fear of the bodily pain and discomfort that comes every third Friday, and 2) strong fear that I will not be around for my daughters when they are older. I am not afraid of cancer, or surgery, or death. It was comforting to annunciate this and to be in the room with the fear.
Then I laid down on a rolled-up blanket on the yoga mat with my arms at my sides. This is a nice pose to open the heart and relieve tension in the body. She placed a light bean bag over my eyes and a cool stone in each hand. The stones were because my yoga instructor said that the chemo treatments are causing a lot of heat in my body. This is quite true: heartburn and rosey cheeks from the steroids, preliminary hot flashes from my chemo-killed ovaries, and boiling guts from the taxotere. The stones served to draw out some of this heat.
Once I was all set, we did the energy work. My body relaxed into the floor and my spirit grew into the space around me. My breath deepened into my belly, releasing the stagnated air from the depths of my lungs. I hummed to encourage any fear around my heart to exit with my breath. I hummed louder and louder until I didn't need to hum anymore. Then, I sighed. Deep, satisfying sighs. I am perfect.
Afterwards I felt open and relaxed. I didn't want to spoil the feeling, so I went to a nearby nature area and sat. Today was warm, overcast, and breezy. I watched a hundred geese playfully soar, forming and reforming their V's without travelling anywhere.
I am forming and reforming.
The wind in the grasses near where I sat today. I loved the sound and wanted to share it with you.