Last week, I was scared. It was a lingering fear that spread itself out in a thin layer over days. My normally hearty appetite was gone and I worried about what to eat. Thin lines framed the corners of my mouth and teeth marks imprinted the sides of my tongue (both signs of malabsorption according to Ayurvedic medicine.)
At first, I related my indigestion to a lavish meal I took in celebration my husband's 39th birthday. The meal involved a glass of prosecco, an appetizer with goat cheese and truffle honey, a wood-fired pizza, and creme brulee for dessert. Though, I was already full by the end of the appetizers, I could not leave that last bite of creme brulee on the table and it made me hurt.
Two days after this meal however, I was still having no inspiration to eat my morning breakfast. I felt edgy and tense. I had scheduled a craniosacral treatment many weeks before and that afternoon found myself staring at an intake form for my session.
What would you like to receive from your session today?
"Balance" I wrote, and then went on to describe my weak appetite and indigestion.
My therapist came over to review my form. When she asked me what I hoped to receive from my session, I repeated what was written on the form.
Then almost uncontrollably, I vomited the words "and my friend's husband has cancer. He's 35." My eyes grew wet and hot. She nodded. "That is a lot to swallow."
The night before my husband celebrated his 39th birthday, a dear friend told me her husband was diagnosed with stage 2-3 colon cancer. His surgery was scheduled for the following Saturday and depending upon the results of the surgery, he would need chemotherapy treatments. This summer, my friend and her husband (who share the same birthday and got married on their birthdays) are set to celebrate his 36th birthday on their anniversary. Their youngest son is not yet 1 years old and their oldest son is in preschool.
Too much to swallow.
During the craniosacral session, I laid face up on a massage table while two therapists held space for me. Hot tears ran down into my ears, and a Sanskrit mantra came to mind. The mantra was taught to me as a way to reframe my thinking when I felt afraid, lost or overwhelmed:
Lead me from misunderstanding to truth
Lead me from ignorance to wisdom
Lead me from what is limited (fear of death) to limitlessness (knowledge of the everlasting)
For the first time in days, my stomach gurgled and I swallowed.
In this months audio meditation, I will share this mantra with you. I feel great peace believing that it might be sung across a great web of caring souls.
Hannah has been a student of yoga and meditation since 2003 and a practitioner of Ayurveda since 2013. She spent a decade teaching yoga classes and yoga teacher trainings throughout the metro-DC area. In August of 2019, she left full-time teaching to pursue a two-year Masters degree in Speech Language Pathology at the University of Massachusetts at Amherst. She intends to combine yoga, meditation, and Ayurveda into speech therapy sessions with those struggling to share their voices. While she does not currently teach regular classes, you can study with her online through Insight Timer.