Honor the Pause

img_20200630_195429882Each one of us has had their own experience with the last five months.  On this beautiful summer morning, I am ‘honoring the pause’ to reflect what’s taken place in my little world and giving space for what may occur over the fall and winter.

It was February when I began watching with regularity YouTube videos out of China on what they were experiencing in Wuhan.  Our national news or officials were not reporting about this.

In a panic, I met with a colleague of mine just to touch base and ask was I being paranoid about being concerned.

We met at a quintessential Seattle coffee shop, C&P in West Seattle.  It’s still one of my favorite spots to go to.  The independently owned shop is located in a converted house that has couches and dining room tables spread throughout.  Every week there would be live music, or poetry, or open mic.  It was one of the last places emerging artists could come.

I can easily put myself back there, on the couch, next to my colleague, asking about what she knew about the virus. I remember the casual atmosphere of the coffee shop and the ease with which people moved about.  That moment in time seems flash frozen, as does the world in which we had met.

I remember sharing my feelings of being quite anxious and having the thought, “All this will change”.

Our meeting was reassuring not in that I had nothing to worry about, but that someone with whom I have great respect confirmed what I had been concerned about.  My response was to enjoy the time remaining before the inevitable came to pass.

Until the order to stay at home came in March, my partner Richard and I went to museums, parks, movie theaters, shopping malls, places we knew would be closing in just a matter of time.  It was a bittersweet diversion.  I cried a lot of the time, watching people unaware of what was to come.

I cried off and on each week until about July.  As a psychotherapist, holding space for my clients, going through similar emotional experiences, I reached a low point I have never experienced before.  I contemplated a complete career change at one point.  To help me through those dark weeds I started my own therapy at the lowest of lows.    That began to help me see a way through.  I also brought more of my existing supports into my world.

From the beginning, I offered virtual Reiki circles, at first daily, now several times a week.  My Reiki community was and is such an incredible gift to myself and the planet.

I also reached out to my cousins, aunts and uncles more than I ever had in prior years.  I still maintain regular contact with my family spread out all across the US.

My love of art took awhile to return.  I dabbled back in to the clay art I had once had such a passion for.  I’ve been painting all the exterior surfaces of my house on my time off.

I ‘mastered’ leading Zoom groups and sessions and now when I do see the occasional masked client in person THAT feels strange.  Such an odd shift.

As the summer came on more socially distanced  nature walks, talks, energy meditations and eating outside has occurred.  All have helped my mood, my vision, my relationships with others.

But now, as the blackberries become overripe, I start to think about how to maintain all this support, activity and focus going into the more internal parts of the year.  When the colder and wetter weather has us retreat within.

I hope more organized testing takes place so that it becomes as ‘normal’ as temperature checks.  There is an organization, Testing for America, which is comprised of scientists and business people to permanently and safely reopen schools, businesses and the US economy by providing affordable, accessible and frequent testing and screening.  It’s definitely a start.

Just as embarking on this journey back in March was a complete unknown, the future ahead is uncharted.

If I have learned anything that has helped me navigate this far, I’d have to say what has helped me are:

  1. Practicing Mindfulness through Reiki and meditation.
  2. Watching something comedic as often as possible
  3. Making space for and reaching out to friends, family and community several times each week
  4. Engaging in some creative/artistic pursuit several times a week
  5. Exercising in some fashion every day
  6. Taking Naps
  7. Eating a little chocolate every day
  8. Getting a pedicure (with a mask and face shield on), shutting off the phone and zoning out in the massage chair
  9. Look at something else besides the news when I first wake up
  10. Practice the safety protocols as recommended

What will you be doing as the weather turns colder?

Copyright 2020 Eileen Dey Wurst

A moment of lightness

lightA few days ago I participated in the Seattle Sing-A-long on my front porch.  It was an uplifting few minutes that lasted within my heart well into that evening.  https://www.facebook.com/plugins/video.php?href=https%3A%2F%2Fwww.facebook.com%2Feileen.dey%2Fvideos%2F10157466250793583%2F&show_text=0&width=267“>Here is the video.

It seems every day in some way, finding a method, technique or distraction to maintain lightness is an important goal amidst the heavy seriousness that is the reality of this situation.

This is not an easy effort, in fact, most days I rely on a lot of external events, like the sing-a-long to pull me through.

My morning meditations help set the day but my emotions often flux between being patient and then being frustrated.  Of being overwhelmed and then being bored.  Of being worried and then being perfectly calm.

The mornings and evenings are often more emotionally ‘level’ than the day itself.  That much I notice.

My cats and my partner keep me socially sane but I am grateful for my online community.  I’ve been working on updating my Youtube channel after last delving into it um, 7 years ago?  I was busy doing a lot of in-person events for a very long while.  Gosh how time flies.

Maybe I’ll put some of the virtual meetings I’m doing on the channel.  Or maybe some of the classes.  Or just me walking around with my camera phone showing how a Reiki master deals in a crisis.   I’ve never done video of my play with clay.  All possible content for the future.

Before this time, I usually would have some kind of event or activity each week to put on my calendar to ‘look forward to’.  I still have events I’m involved with and show up for.  But the ‘looking forward’ component has definitely shifted.  Making plans is very short-term.

I feel more cautious, not even ‘cautiously optimistic’.  Not quite on guard, but just hesitant most days.  Lot’s of waiting and seeing.  I know I’m not alone.

I’m not focused on ‘what the world will be like after all this’ because no one knows despite all their education, expertise and intuition.

I find the practice of gratitude to be most helpful because it keeps me present and aware of whats right in front of me.  Today, that practice manifested with myself playing the didjeridoo and Richard playing a flute while our cats looked on with great curiosity of the sounds we were making and laughing with.  A moment of lightness.

For now, I’m content when I do find a moment of lightness and with that I can shine brightly.  That’s all I can do.

Copyright Eileen Dey Wurst

Authentic Therapy with Reiki

As a coheartunselor, I bring an innovative and authentic approach to therapy.  I was trained traditionally, as a counselor, in a graduate program on the East Coast, and I have spent the last decade of incorporating Reiki, the energy modality into that foundation.

It has made me a more intuitive, sensitive and compassionate counselor.  I feel I do my best work with clients who are ‘stuck’.  Stuck in relationships, work environments, and within their own habits or patterns of living.  I have developed, through my practice with Reiki, a keen sense for those obstacles a client faces, and a way to help unravel, discern and transform what is standing in the way of their growth.

I created a vocational school of Reiki, the only one of it’s kind on the West Coast, The Reiki Training Program.  It has served as a model for other states across the nation to offer standardized training and mentorship for students interested in the healing arts.  Through that experience, I have had the honor to teach and guide thousands of students in fulfilling their goal of learning the self-healing and self-soothing technique of Reiki.

My approach to therapy is as a guide for my clients, to assist those who are suffering from anxiety, depression, grief/loss, past trauma and abuse as well as addictions.

I am an artist and a writer, as well as a counselor, and often integrate a creative approach to the challenges present in each session.  I have lead Artist’s Way groups, and have used this text as a starting point for clients seeking to break through their own mental and emotional blocks.

Reiki in therapy serves a variety of functions.  For the counselor, it is a tool to help maintain presence, active listening, and sense the emotional challenges of their client.  For the client, Reiki is an additional support, like another ‘guide’ in the session room, that helps facilitate relaxation and centering, to assist a client in receiving insight.

For more information on my work as a counselor, please visit my website, www.eileendeywurst.com

Copyright 2013 Eileen Dey Wurst

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