Imagine being able to intuitively access what the body needs, your hands are guided to the exact source of pain.
You remember everything you’ve ever learned and even discover techniques you’ve never seen before, but just feel right in your body.
You are confident in a “knowing”, leaving every session feeling more energized than when you started. You are a witness to miracles happening on your table.
Sound like a dream?
This is the world of a massage practitioner who uses the Hawaiian teaching of Ho’oponopono in their work.
If you’ve ever had a thought like…
How do I keep from taking on other people’s stuff?
I feel so overwhelmed when someone comes in for therapeutic work. I feel much more comfortable when they just need a relaxing massage.
What does it mean to hold sacred space and how does it work?
I am experiencing energetic burnout.
…then keep reading.
Today, I’m sharing the Hawaiian practice of Ho’oponopono and how to keep your energy clear throughout your massage session.
Notice I use the word “practice”.
Even if you have done Ho’oponopono work before, it is a process. It takes time to practice and practice makes perfect.
As you refine the practice over time, I promise, it will become easier and easier.
The Bowl of Light
One of the first teachings of Ho’oponopono the elders would teach the children was a parable called “The Bowl of Light”.
I am sharing from a book by Pali Jae Lee, Tales From the Night Rainbow.
In this parable, each child is born and given a bowl of perfect light.
As the child grows, this light will grow in strength. The child can swim with the sharks, fly with the birds, know and understand all things.
Feelings like envy or jealousy, greed, fear and anger is like a stone that he places into his bowl of light.
The stone and the light can’t hold the same space. Therefore, some of the light goes out.
As he continues on his path in this way, adding stones to the bowl, he becomes heavy like a stone. He cannot move and cannot grow.
However, if at any time he tires of being a stone, all he needs to do is turn his bowl upside down.
The stones will fall away and the light will shine once more.
What I love about this story is the idea of redemption. Consider this truth:
“We are the ones that choose what we want to do with our bowl of light”.
We can choose to put stones in and we can also choose to release them. Our actions cause the light to shine.
You have the power to shift the energetic and allow something else in its place.
There are 3 common roadblocks that make it difficult to hold sacred space. Clear them, and you will find a way to hold a beautiful space while people are on your table.
Mindset 1: The Mechanic
It is not your job to fix someone.
Let’s say someone comes to you with knee and shoulder pain. You notice they had a car accident in 1999 and another in 2010.
Enter the thought, “There is a history of injury here. They must be broken. I only have this session to make a difference, what techniques can I use?”
There are two things happening here. First of all, we sent a thought, “this person is broken.”
We never, ever want to put that thought or energy on someone.
There a Hawaiian proverb, we call them ōlelo noeau, that I heard from Mary Kawena Pukui
i ka ōlelo no ke ola
i ka ōlelo no ke make
“In the word, there is life. And in the word there is death.
Your thoughts carry mana, life force energy, and have an impact on others. If you speak them aloud, they gather more energy.
“You’re so tight.”
“Wow, you’ve got a lot going on.”
Your words have an impact, so mind your thoughts. This is a key component in holding sacred space.
Instead of thinking, “I need to fix this.” release the thought and replace it with an awareness of the Bowl of Light.
Your clients have a bowl of perfect light beneath all of those life experiences as well.
Take a moment to acknowledge the light is bright and see them as whole and complete.
We are the conduits of healing energy and we need that energy to pour all the way through.
Mindset 2: Imposter Syndrome
Imagine the same clients comes to your table with a history of injury or chronic pain. It’s easy to think:
“Oh my gosh, how am I going to work with that?”
“What are the tools that I need to use right now? “
“Do I have the knowledge and the wisdom and the skillset to even work with that? “
Thoughts of worry and panic can lead to a lack of confidence in our ability to help. This is a classic case of imposter syndrome.
Fear blocks the energy from flowing through.
When you feel feel like an imposter, try this instead…become a navigator.
A navigator, sailing in a canoe, watches the currents, the clouds and the stars. He comes to learn how to position himself within the elements. He uses this information to know which direction to go.
The body is like the elements.
The breath in the body is like the wind, changing at times and moving direction.
Consider the stars, how they move with time but keep a general pattern. This is the body.
On a cloudy day, a navigator may feel a bit unsure. But they look to their guides – the angels, ancestors and intuitive guidance.
What is the next direction I need to arrive safely?
You don’t have to feel like an imposter. Stand with confidence as you are guided on your path.
Release that fear and receive intuitive guidance that wants to pour through you. Trust that your client has guides as well, ready and willing to support them.
Your job is to be the navigator.
Mindset 3: The Sherpa
When you hold sacred space, it does NOT mean you carry the load for your clients. This type of thinking will allow energy to come on from your clients.
You become like the sherpa, climbing up the high mountain and carrying the load for the person on your table.
You are NOT the sherpa. It’s not your job to carry energetics and emotions for others. That’s their job.
Ho’omana is all about empowerment. We see our clients as whole and well, illuminating the potential we see in them.
You can become the torch bearer that shines the light on the path towards healing for your client.
See their support, their guidance and strength. Visualize the journey towards wellness. See them persevering, how strong they are in full health.
You have the ability to shift the energetic and put something else in its place.
Be the torchbearer that shines the light on a new story.
When we get out of our own way, release negative thoughts and shine a light of potential, beautiful things can happen.
This is how you hold sacred space.
If you want to know more about Ho’oponopono, we do have a free resource called Ho’oponopono for Healers.
Enjoy, and I’ll see you next week!
Kumu Jeana Iwalani Naluai