The Pause

The Pause that was felt ’round the world ~ COVID-19. As the world is OPENING its doors again, I feel the energy increase. The need to “get out” and be with people is an incredible draw. Still, I step back and ponder The Pause.

Initially, The Pause felt settling. It felt like people as a whole were able to breathe. Perhaps a strange thing to say as COVID-19 affected the lungs. In therapy, The Pause is where true healing takes place. It is scary at times to take The Pause, but it holds incredible benefits.

In trauma therapy, there comes a time when a client approaches the line in the sand. As you might guess, that is a challenge just as it is in a game of Tug of War. In the game, you are pulled and you pull back. It goes back and forth until someone is yanked over the line. For some, that may have been the response to the Coronavirus. Whether we liked it or not, we were holding a rope on one end. What I saw on one side was fear,  on the other side love and compassion. For someone in trauma, this may be how they live daily. However, when trust is established in therapy, The Pause feels like a miracle. 

I am speaking from personal and professional experience. The Pause goes like this in therapy. The client is going back and forth with an issue or trauma. The body charges ahead trying to find balance. At some point, there is The Pause. In Polarity Therapy, we call this Being. It’s not about Doing, it’s just about Being. Being is one of the greatest challenges of all. Many would rather continue the Tug of War without ever taking a breath, without ever experiencing The Pause. 

At the beginning of the “Stay at Home” or “Shelter in Place” orders, it felt like people were happy to take a break, to breathe again. Not just to take air in, but to feel the Breath of Life, the Life Force Energy settle a bit. For some, they were unable to maintain The Pause. They needed to start DOING. Others embraced it and found gratitude for healthcare workers, first responders, teachers, grocery store employees, and most especially, the INTERNET! For the first time in history, we connected with people we loved while an Earth-changing crisis was happening. Humans opened the door to change. 

Even with all that we have, countless ways to reach out, and SEE those we love, people still complained.

The Pause gave us an opportunity, what we did with it was as individual as we are. For me, I continued to live my good life knowing I was well, my family was well, my friends were well, my clients were well. Gosh, what else can we ask for? A chance to breathe, love, and connect. That was good for ME.

So now what? Things are shifting quickly. People are moving back into the game. Perhaps they have more of themselves to play fully, or they may have lost everything. There is much in between. What happens to The Pause? It’s my hope that more people recall the good that came from it. That they are able to process better and appreciate more. That they value their health and know that we are more connected than we ever thought possible. That they find compassion for themselves and others. That they are kind and caring. That they know The Pause and use it without the entire world having to shut down to feel it in every fiber of their being. That they know we are all here for a limited time, why not be here in LOVE? That they know…. Be well ~ Nancy T

Journaling

     To write is to release. To ME, that is! In 1989, I grabbed a pad of paper and a pen and I headed to Mother Nature. I was lost and my head was spinning with unpleasant thoughts. Contemplating my own demise, I felt crazed by my brother’s suicide. 

      Thankfully, extricating the words from my cells and presenting them to the physical world eased my fire and allowed me to simmer a bit. Instead of blasting full speed ahead, I was able to take a breath and see what was right in front of me. Sitting in a pile of leaves for over an hour, I became aware of the moisture under my bottom. As I furiously wrote, I felt the grain of the wood log that supported my spine. My eyes scanned the scene and I fully absorbed autumn in Illinois––the red, golden, and orange leaves. The cold wind slapped my face and shook me awake. All of this took place in an instant. Once I released my innards, I was able to experience life again. 

     For people who don’t use journaling as a release tool or a place of peace, this may seem impossible. How could writing what you feel bring you back to life? The answer is simple; once you feel and cellularly experience what you are hearing in your head, it is like letting the air out of a balloon. It falls back to Earth and feels the ground beneath it. 

     I have encountered many people who are resistant to journaling or even writing a letter to someone who is dead or alive. They state plenty of reasons as to why they can’t or won’t write. But, when I look into their eyes I see the emotion longing to be released in the tears that form in their visual center. Fear keeps it right there as the water is reabsorbed by the system or simply wiped away. The funny thing is, they are afraid of what they already know about themselves––that they feel loss. 

     When my brother Ronny died, the incredible loss that I felt consumed me. The “all-powerful” in me felt that “I” should have stopped him from taking his life. What I learned through journaling, and later, using my journals to write a book*, is that it wasn’t about him; IT WAS ALL ABOUT ME!

     Journaling showed me that I feel deeply. I take things personally because everything in my life is PERSONAL; for I am the person taking it all in. Journaling provided a space to find more of me. It opened my heart, first to me, and then to the world. This was not an easy task. Initially, I grieved the words that I released to the masses through my book. But once I took some time for myself––taking countless breaths, walks, swims, etc., I was able to let things go. My words were not just meant for me, they are there for everyone. People may absorb them fully, partially or not at all. That is not the point. Words are meant to be spoken. 

     I never thought that I would share my journals. Prior to 1998, I didn’t even re-read my own words. However, as I did, I found more pieces of myself. I discovered that what I feared was not nearly as big as it appeared inside of me. The greatest gift came when I recognized that the record playing in my head could change its tune. That’s the most amazing thing that journaling hands to me on a silver platter each and every time I put pen to paper. I no longer have to hold all of my thoughts, words, and feelings internally. I have a way to set them free and let them fly. 

     Journaling is a GIFT––plain and simple. So, grab paper and a pen to see what comes out of you. You may be pleasantly surprised. One thing that I can guarantee––you won’t be carrying such heavy hearts. Be well… Nancy T

For further information or questions, please contact Nancy @ Bez Publications at 928-717-1251, bez@naturalmassagetherapy.com.

 

Labyrinths ~ Balancing the Brain

In this time of change, keeping our balance can be quite a challenge. One way that I know to balance the left and right hemispheres of the brain is to walk a labyrinth. On April 9th, I felt a local labyrinth call to me and I answered the call. 

On my travels, I’ve had the pleasure of finding incredible and unique labyrinths. New Zealand had one of the coolest ones I’ve ever seen. After stopping for a bathroom break, we went to check out a historic air crossing sight. Although that was interesting, the labyrinth in the park next door not only drew my attention, it kept me curious and fascinated for over an hour.

Years ago, I wrote the attached labyrinth article. In class, I learned that you don’t need to physically walk a labyrinth, you can trace one with your finger or pen and get the same results. When we are limited with what we can do, labyrinths are a great way to stay centered by balancing the brain. Wishing you peace and balance as we continue to stay home during this pandemic. Be well… Nancy T

Labyrinths ~ by Nancy M. Turcich, NTS, BCPP

          Years ago, I walked my first labyrinth. At the time, I didn’t know anything about labyrinths but it was a positive experience. A few months later, a labyrinth class was offered at the Unity Church in Prescott. I decided to attend. 

          Labyrinths are defined as mazes. To me, the two are similar but very different. With dead ends that halt progression, mazes need to be figured out. They can be a real “head-trip.” Labyrinths are continuous paths that lead to a center with an exit that guides you out through the “IN” door.             

          Labyrinths balance the two hemispheres of the brain. Simply tracing a labyrinth on a sheet of paper improves test scores. Labyrinths are known to furnish internal answers to questions. All of the above have played out in my life. 

          Many hospitals have labyrinths outside their facility. They are sanctuaries where people can process their troubles and concerns. Walking a labyrinth releases tension, decreases stress, and provides space for people who are concerned for their loved ones or their patients. I’m quite certain the hospital staff benefits enormously by walking the labyrinth. 

          Although there is a wonderful outdoor labyrinth at the Unity Church in Prescott, the instructor, Jan, brought a beautiful cloth labyrinth that we laid out indoors. After talking about labyrinths and sharing her history, Jan described how the day would unfold. She shared hand-outs and labyrinth history. Later in the day, we would walk the labyrinth, discuss our experience, create our own labyrinth on paper in a few easy steps, and we would have fun. It sounded like a great game plan to me. 

         Once the labyrinth was displayed on the floor I noticed the texture of the material, how soft yet sturdy it appeared. It nearly filled the entire space. Jan presented simple instructions for walking the labyrinth as a group; step aside when someone is passing; kindly go around someone if you need to pass; take your time; go at your own pace; be aware of your inner dialog; stay in the center for as long as you need; and remember, it’s all for YOU. 

          All of the instructions resonated with me. I felt confident that I was in the right place at the right time. I calmly waited in line as the class slowly entered the labyrinth. To maintain space between individuals, the keepers of the gate allowed entry after each participant reached a specific point. 

         As the labyrinth was filling with people, I became somewhat mesmerized. I noticed how well people were following instructions. There was no agitation, no pushing or shoving. It was rhythmical, almost hypnotic. 

          I approached the front of the line. It was my turn to enter. My intention was clear; being open to whatever came to me. The gatekeepers lifted a cloth veil that puffed up over my head as I passed into the world of the labyrinth. 

          Instead of being an observer, I became an active participant. It was immediately apparent that my progress was an expression of how I walked through life. I was slightly agitated at the person moseying along in front of me. I waited for an appropriate time to pass and then I made my move. I noticed how some people stepped aside for me and others stood their ground waiting for me to get out of their way. My pace was fairly fast and when I reached the center I hung out for some time with questions flashing through my mind. However, the longer I stayed in the center, the more my mind slowed, allowing answers to appear. I took time to file away as much information as possible. 

          Eventually, I cruised out of the center. I made my way through all of the twists and turns. I was nearing the end when it suddenly occurred to me, this walk is like my life; I have been rushing to get through, to get my answers, and to be on my way. I get annoyed, upset, confused, and frustrated all the time. I stood on the path waiting to exit when I imagined the exit as my death, the end of the line. A gatekeeper waited to give people whatever they needed, be it a hug, a pat on the back or a smile. When she noticed my hesitation she said, “Take your time, I’ll be here when you’re ready.” It felt like I was at the Pearly Gates and I realized that I wasn’t finished with my life. The labyrinth reflected how I was moving through life, perhaps a bit faster than I cared to proceed. Visions of my life passed before me. Then a smile crossed my lips and I knew I was ready, not only to exit the labyrinth but to enter my life with an entirely new perspective. Slowly, I took a breath and consciously walked into the arms of the gatekeeper. She embraced me fully as she welcomed me into my new existence. It was like stepping into a fresh, new life. I breathed a little easier. 

          After the labyrinth walk, we were assigned the task of writing ourselves a letter. Jan said that she would mail the letter to us at the appropriate time. These were words that would feed our soul. Months later an envelope appeared in my mailbox. I was a bit perplexed as I noticed my handwriting on the envelope,  Nancy M. Turcich printed in my scribe. I opened it and read the words written to myself. The labyrinth experience as well as the reminder “not to rush through life” burst through my cells. I tucked the letter away. Periodically, I reread the text and reflected upon the time, of discovering life again. 

          For years, I have visited the outdoor labyrinth on many occasions. I’ve shared the space with clients, students, and friends. It’s truly amazing how people are touched and changed by the simple act of walking the path. Of course, I make a monetary donation to the church for the upkeep of this hidden treasure. 

          Walking a labyrinth as a group is different from doing it alone. Yet, I have received great insight walking with others or going solo. It always seems perfect even when I am unaware of what perfect is at the time. 

          A new addition was added to the labyrinth a few years back; wind chimes. High up in the tree air pushes hollow tubes together to produce the most gorgeous sound. It’s angelic. Plants, trees, and flowers fill the surroundings of the Unity Church labyrinth and it is truly a magnificent meditative sanctuary. I am so grateful to have it in my life. 

          Sometimes life feels like a maze, with dead-ends and obstacles getting in the way. However, with the labyrinth, I have been able to find my way with each and every step I take on the continuous path back home to ME.

Finger Labyrinth.jpg

Nancy M. Turcich is a therapist and author. For further information or questions, please contact Nancy @ Natural Massage Therapy at nmt1@naturalmassagetherapy.com, 928-717-1251. 

Please refer to Nancy’s books “One Of Eight–my perspective on our brother’s suicide” & “Finding My Way From Paralysis To A Rich, Full Life” for more details about her healing experiences.

Reproduction of articles are permitted by Nancy M. Turcich, NTS, BCPP,  author and holistic bodyworker, with acknowledgments and credentials included. 

Disclaimer: All of the material provided by naturalmassagetherapy.com and Bez Publications is for educational purposes only. This information does not replace medication nor present treatment programs. Please consult medical personnel if you are presently under a physician’s care, if you are taking medication, or need additional medical care.