The (in)exchange of energies

Written by on April 30, 2012 in 30 Life Crisis, Americas, Blog, Utah - 24 Comments

Cynthia taps on my chest.

Tap. Tap. Tap.

I can feel those taps reverberate through my body. I can hear the sounds echo in my ears.

Hollow. I feel hollow.

“OK,” she says softly, powering up the massage table to a sitting position. “How stressed are you?” she asks, her gentle eyes full of concern.

I bite my lip. I fight the tears I know want to spill out at that question.

I’m beyond stressed. I’m clawing at rocks 10 feet below the ground and can’t come up for air.

“Oh, I’m pretty stressed,” I remark. Then, I panic. “Oh my god, did I give you bad energy?”

After a 50-minute Reiki treatment at Red Mountain Resort, my practitioner smiles calmly.

“You are very stressed. There were some points during your treatment where I tried to find energy, and nothing was there. That tapping? It was me trying to stir something in you …”

“And nothing happened?” I ask, my eyes closing. My heart sinking. I know the answer. There’s nothing inside of me anymore.

I can’t go through life like this any longer.

“You need to get this stress out of your life. You need to give yourself permission to remove whatever it is that is causing you this stress out of your life. It’s not good for you.”

I can’t. Not yet.

I don’t explain my situation, the fact that I am at a career cross-road — I have a part-time job that attempts to pay the bills, plus all of my freelance travel writing that is going into the online piggy bank I have created.

I don’t tell her my struggles with depression throughout my entire life. The struggles I am currently facing as I try to come to terms with so many things that involve changing the way I think, the way I live my life, the dreams I have.

Instead, I simply ask: “What can I do?”

She explains I would benefit from lymphatic drainage. That this light touching procedure will help ease my stress and relax my body.

Then, she warns me. “If you keep this up, you won’t live past 50 or 60. You can’t live your life this stressed out. It isn’t healthy for you. It impacts every part of your life.”

Again, I nearly cry.

If she only knew.

She wraps her arms around me, sending some positive energy into my body, then says goodbye.

“Tonight, don’t write. Just go sit outside and look at the stars in the sky and relax.”

I promise her I will, then I head back out into the starry Utah night. A world away from Las Vegas.

Solitude, standing.

For two days, I am situated at Red Mountain Resort, a gorgeous slice of outdoor heaven about two hours from Vegas, nearby St. George in the tiny town of Ivins, Utah.

And, by tiny, I mean tiny. Compared to Las Vegas’ huge population, Ivins only has 5,000 residents.

After I grab a healthy dinner in the resort’s restaurant, I head back to my suite (a gorgeous 1,100-square-foot villa), throw on my swim suit, and head out into the chilly night.

I sink into the bubbling hot tub and look up towards the darkness.

Above me, clusters of stars, some so tiny I can’t barely see but know by the soft glow, they exist, twinkle.

Relax, D. Breathe, D. Life doesn’t have to be so hard. You don’t have to be so stressed out.You don’t have to put yourself through this.

I focus on the stars, trying to clear my mind.

During my reiki, Cynthia instructed me to go to my safe place to clear my mind. Until that moment, I’d never had a safe place. I didn’t even know where to start.

“What’s yours?” I had asked.

She told me, and then I tried to find mine. After a few moments of debate, I settled on Thailand and the elephants. As she lightly touched me, moved her hands above my body, I imagined myself sitting next to Faa Mai, singing “Que Sera, Sera” and petting Medo on my last day at Elephant Nature Park.

But under the stars? I can’t clear my mind. All I keep thinking is there is something so inherently wrong with me. I can’t unwind. I can’t relax. I can’t just be. And, now, it’s slowly killing me.

I crawl into my king bed that night and close my eyes. I try to quiet my brain, but instead it chides me for being absolutely emotionally and physically exhausted. There is no sleep.

I remind myself tomorrow is a new day, a day of promises, of hope, in this beautiful place. And, a meeting with a shaman for some spiritual advising and sound healing.

At this point, I’m game for anything. I just want to find my happiness again. Even if it means letting my preconceived notions wither away and embracing something entirely different from the norm.

About the Author

Diana Edelman is a travel writer and expat currently residing in Chiang Mai, Thailand. She is a former career breaker and long term solo traveler. Today, she helps promote responsible elephant tourism and is the co-founder of #RTTC, a weekly chat on Twitter focusing on responsible tourism. When she isn’t writing, Diana handles the PR and social media for Save Elephant Foundation, which runs the popular Elephant Nature Park. Her writing as appeared in About.com, Thought Catalog, The Huffington Post, Matador Network, Travel + Escape, Luna Luna, Vegas Seven, World Nomads, Viator, CheapOair, OneTravel and more.

24 Comments on " The (in)exchange of energies "

  1. Graeme Clark April 30, 2012 at 3:43 pm · Reply

    D……..! You are very brave……in more ways than one! I wish I had the words to mend. But, getting to know you for a short time….TWO YEARS ago……..!! You are strong! You wouldn’t be doing what you are doing now? You will find it……… xx

    • Diana April 30, 2012 at 3:53 pm · Reply

      Thank you, Graeme!! This post was actually written back in February. A LOT has changed since then. :)

  2. Stephanie - The Travel Chica April 30, 2012 at 4:23 pm · Reply

    Such a difficult place to be. I am always amazed by the ability of people that work in massage and other physical therapies to sense what is going on in your life emotionally and psychologically. I have a wonderful, wonderful masseuse back home, and just knowing I have an appointment with him instantly makes me feel less stressed.

    • Diana April 30, 2012 at 4:26 pm · Reply

      It was an awful place to be, and I am so glad I am not in that place any longer! Since I returned from the resort, I have learned more about reiki and the drainage. I even went back to Cynthia at the resort for a drainage treatment, which was amazing. I give a lot of credit to that industry. People don’t realize how healing something like that can be because they won’t open themselves up to it. Sometimes you just need a little leap of faith and an open mind to change your life!

  3. Alison April 30, 2012 at 5:30 pm · Reply

    I could really relate to this article and felt for you feeling like this. I had a similar experience when I visited an acupuncturist last year. It was for a work article but I left feeling the same kind of emotions you described. Life can get so hard sometimes and stress is poison, even though it’s so hard to avoid in modern life and takes all sorts to get a handle on it. I’d really like to try out some more alternative therapies.

    • Diana May 1, 2012 at 1:54 pm · Reply

      This was for a story I was writing, too. It just so happened that it fit perfectly in my life. Stress really is poison … I just never realized it until she told me. Hopefully, I have removed all of the outside stresses in my life. I am OK with being stressed because of decisions I make, but when I allow someone or something else to cause undue stress, it needs to be extricated from my life. I am a big supporter now of alternative therapies.

  4. Ayngelina April 30, 2012 at 10:38 pm · Reply

    I’ve never done Reiki but I must say the older I get the more I open myself up to new idea and they are starting to make sense.

    • Diana May 1, 2012 at 1:53 pm · Reply

      The reiki I did at Red Mountain was really wonderful. When I got home, I went to a couple and had it done again and I did not like it at all. They were nice, but they kept trying to walk me through a meditation and making me attach blame to people who I don’t blame for anything. Find the right person and it can be an amazing and life-changing experience.

  5. Emily in Chile April 30, 2012 at 11:21 pm · Reply

    I’m not as stressed as you are, but I definitely struggle with relaxing these days – “relax” seems like another item to schedule on a to-do list when I realize that’s not really the point. I’m so glad you found something to help you through this.

    • Diana May 1, 2012 at 1:52 pm · Reply

      Relaxing was not something I was good at. But now, I have kind of trained myself to take a few moments when I need to and just *be.* I’m really glad everything came together the way it did. It was very much a perfect storm.

  6. Christy May 1, 2012 at 12:30 am · Reply

    I’m glad to hear you are feeling better now. I know that exact feeling. My part-time job is actually driving me to this point right now. Sometimes letting go is exactly what we need. :)

    • Diana May 1, 2012 at 1:51 pm · Reply

      Thank you, Christy! That feeling is awful. I’m sorry your job is driving you to that point right now. I hope it gets better soon!!

  7. Angela May 1, 2012 at 2:06 am · Reply

    Well done on trying alternative healing methods, they will help you relax and concentrate, and you will get through your difficult moment little by little. It won’t be overnight, but it will be definitive. The time it will take is the time you need to understand what’s causing everything and properly work on it. With your own mind you can heal yourself better than any drug in the world. Relax, keep asking for guidance and be happy for every improvement you make :)

    • Diana May 1, 2012 at 1:50 pm · Reply

      Thank you for your support. I did just that, Angela. I not only worked with a traditional therapist, but also employed these alternative healing methods. The therapist helped me to uncover emotional issues and insecurities, the healers helped me to get over that last hump of acceptance and forgiveness. And now, I’m so happy in my life, it is incredible!

  8. Sophie May 1, 2012 at 4:07 am · Reply

    Ouch! Glad you’re feeling better now :)

    • Diana May 1, 2012 at 1:49 pm · Reply

      Me, too! It wasn’t easy to get there, but to wake up every morning and be happy is one of the most amazing things in the entire world.

  9. Shanna Schultz May 1, 2012 at 6:21 pm · Reply

    Thank you for writing this. I give you a lot of credit for seeking out healing methods that might be outside of your idea of normal. Energy work and shamanic healing is so powerful, but many people can’t accept that power as a part of their own healing process because of their own preconceived ideas. Keep at it.

    I am also a massage therapist, and I love reading about other people’s experiences with various types of bodywork.

    • Diana May 2, 2012 at 1:55 pm · Reply

      Absolutely! It is never easy to admit you need help, and even harder to go through the painful process of working to make yourself better. But, the end result, waking up happy every day (even when there are little road blocks), makes it all worth it.

  10. Brooke vs. the World May 3, 2012 at 12:14 pm · Reply

    Wish I’d read this post before the other one (both really good by the way) — D, we are so alike, this post felt like I was writing it. What has stress and depression done to my life? Caused more strange health problems than I can count. It’s no way to live, and I commend you for actively trying to fix the thinking behind it. I’m intrigued by these alternative methods you are seeking, and I wish you luck on your journey.

    • Diana May 3, 2012 at 7:36 pm · Reply

      Brooke, thank you so much. It is horrible to think what we allow these things to do to us. Even now, being in a better place, I still let things get to me. Not like they used to, and not with the same terrible thoughts I used to have, but still. I don’t think I will ever just let everything in life roll off my back. That being said, I am nowhere near where I was when I was living through the darkest spots in my life. And, I am so happy I am not in that place any more. I tell everyone — if you feel sad or depressed, go talk to someone. Its such hard work, but in the end, the results are a happier version of you. Definitely look into alternative methods. Reiki, shamanic healing, yoga … they all help in a way. Especially when paired with a therapist. :) Thank you for your support. I am sure our paths will cross soon. I’ll be on your side of the ocean in a couple of months!

  11. Erica May 3, 2012 at 6:03 pm · Reply

    Oh D, this series of posts has been so heartfelt. While it is so hard to see you struggle, I love how open you are throughout this ordeal.

    • Diana May 3, 2012 at 7:33 pm · Reply

      These were really difficult to write, but just as I share my happy, I also want to share the sad. I’m an open book. :)

  12. Ali May 5, 2012 at 8:39 am · Reply

    Wow. I hate that you were struggling so much, but I hope things have improved since you wrote this. Thanks for sharing such a personal part of yourself!

    • Diana May 8, 2012 at 12:21 am · Reply

      It’s all a part of my story and my travels :) I hope other people feeling the same take comfort in knowing they can overcome it.

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