Yoga is a journey with the Self

Initiation to my Healing Journey – Part 2

I survived the Sharing Circle the night before. The next morning I was exhausted from the stress & anxiety of being present with a group, the vulnerability of verbalising anything personal about myself, the fear of rejection, the anguish of years of pent-up expression.

This was the day I was to receive my first ever full body massage (I had received my only ever back massage a few months before). Not any full body massage though…it was bodywork originating in ancient Hawaii, deeply rooted in cultural & spiritual energy. I knew it then as “Kahuna Massage”, which I now know to be “Lomi Lomi Nui”.

Monique was my Giver that day. All the massage beds were spaced out inside & outside the beach house. Anthea opened the space & held it supremely. I will always remember the music…fusion of African, Polynesian & World. The music seemed divinely orchestrated to flow with my unique experience of my first Lomi Lomi, the highs & lows the depths & peaks the rhythms & pauses…

It is impossible to put into words my journey in my first lomi lomi. Partly because I “journeyed” and could not recall where I went, and partly because the sensations & emotions I felt were so detailed, I couldn’t even begin to define them. 

Two outstanding memories remain with me to this day…When she was flowing all around my body, like I’d never had that sensation before, and she was really breathing, we both were…a vision of my Dad appeared. He was there smiling & laughing, with his hands outstretched, saying “I got this for you”.  The swell of grief mixed with joy pulsated through my body & I experienced what we now term “an emotional release”. For me, that term scratches on the surface of a deep surrender and unanticipated spiritual connection.

The other outstanding experience that initiation was more Shamanic. I use these terms generically. The strokes with her forearms created the vision of a python snake doing the movements. Like a snake pressing deeply along the length of my body from the shoulder to the foot in one long flow. I even saw its eyes looking back at me sometimes. How surreal!? Like some hallucination. But one that wasn’t just in my mind, it had a real physical component. I will always cherish this particular experience, as I have a snake-phobia in real life, yet in this moment it was completely fearless and utterly ecstatic.

So leaving that weekend, I decided that I had to, just HAD TO, learn how to give this to others. I had no idea where it was going, whether I wanted to be a massage therapist or just do it for my family & friends. I just needed to explore it more, to know more, to discover more about the teachings and ultimately about myself. It was the kind of sacred space I knew I could reveal myself too, all my past traumas and The Unspoken Truths. All the secrecy and shame of my past, perhaps this was the vehicle towards recovery and revelation. I wasn’t wrong…I thank my younger self for sensing this. I thank her & her guides, for the wild acceptance of the unknown and often difficult path of following a calling so edgy & misunderstood by family & society.

I began to study with Anthea & soon became her apprentice at The Aloha Way, Durban, South Africa.