Names are powerful: names can serve as identifiers, invocations, commitments. I spent weeks last summer wrestling with many drafts of a name, rolling around lists of adjectives with a handful of nouns. Then, all at once, it was clear and easy – this had to be the name! As I practice sharing more of myself so that I can better serve, my intuition nudged me to write about why I chose to name my practice Release Intuitive Healing.
Release – so many restorative, exciting connotations and possibilities come up for me with this word:
- I have this word tattooed on the inside of my right wrist. I sometimes feel sheepish: it was my first tattoo at age 22, chosen at a time when wrist tattoos were all the rage and without more than a few weeks’ deliberation. But when I get clear on why this called to me, I can relax into all the ways in which it feels right: I got it with my friend & fellow healer Charlie providing loving support, I got it after receiving it as a clear flash of insight, I got it to remind myself that sometimes you do need to be a little bit impulsive. Rather than hiding it with a wrist watch, I now invoke the power of “release” to guide my life. This message stays there, already a bit faded nearly six years in, a gentle reminder of who I was and who I am becoming.
- I also had a clear and compelling meaning behind “release,” a meaning I continue to evolve and co-create with the universe. I charge “release” with the intention that every one of us can connect deeply to liberating, generative possibilities by attending to and healing the many layers of harm heaped upon us by the world – no one is beyond redemption, no one is beyond reclamation of their deepest and freest selves. Part of that healing includes deeply collective action & co-creation so that we dismantle/transform oppressive systems into new systems that are life-giving, that respect each person’s sovereignty and agency, that allow everyone to experience pleasure and joy.
- As a bodyworker, “release” has taken on some more literal meanings. I often tell my massage therapy clients, “now, take a nice deep breath at your own pace, without straining…try to visualize and invite your muscles to release.” I learned in massage school that “emotional release” (crying, sighing, rushes of emotion) can spontaneously occur as clients receive bodywork – this continues to be a fascination for me: how can I most fully support my client and their soma in feeling a sense of safety, allowing stuck/frozen emotions held in body tissues to be released?
Intuitive: relating to, unlocking, cultivating a relationship with our intuition. Intuition – wow, what a beautiful and numinous thing! It can be a “sixth sense” that comes through like other senses; it can be an intentional connection to an inner self that serves as a guide or connects to non-self guides; it can be whatever and however you receive insights, feelings, guidance that land as “right” and clear in your body/mind/spirit. To me, invoking “intuitive” in my practice looks and feels like:
- centering your intuition. I have my own deep relationship with my intuition that shapes how I hold the container of our reading, but you are the expert on your own life, body, and feelings, so your own intuitive guidance is the most important for you to recognize and heed.
- paying attention to my own intuitive nudges & calls in my own life and business (such as writing this post!). I can think of so many times I’ve either been held back or actively hurt by not listening to my intuition and so many times that I’ve listened to my intuition to make decisions – even BIG life changes like moving back to my hometown – that turned out to be incredibly constructive and aligned.
- celebrating intuition as a valid, powerful force. We are conditioned under capitalism to believe that only the material plane is real and instructed from a young age to repress and discard feelings, intuitive knowing, anything immaterial (at least, anything spiritual or intangible that falls outside of Christian hegemony – talking to capital-g God is valued, but not listening to our own inner guidance). As with anything, oppression metes out stigma unevenly: women, people of color, mad/disabled people are especially diminished and ridiculed for cultivating intuition…so it can be quite scary and tangibly risky for those of us with one or more marginalized identities to openly identify as intuitive.
Healing: another word that evokes SO many meanings, feelings, possibilities for me. Here are a few things I know, as of right now, to be true about healing:
- healing can be non-linear and often goes sloooowly: it can feel like one step forward, two steps back, forward and backward and in a circle in time. Slowing way down can be important – to allow time and space for feelings. Healing moves on its own pace, and it’s important to me as a practitioner to honor the pace each client wants & needs.
- healing can be cyclical and iterative: Patterns are often so deeply held and we must strive to be gentle with ourselves when we cycle around the same old loop we thought we already healed. There are layers upon layers to keep moving and healing through.
- healing is both personal (we have an innate capacity to heal) and collective (we heal in restorative, interdependent, and mutual relationships). As a practitioner, I hold space and strive to act in ways that honor and support you, the client, but the actual transformation that you experience all comes from within you and your own collaboration with the universe.
- You can read more about the many people who have influenced how I think about healing on my Learning page.
If this post resonated with you, I hope you’ll consider booking a tarot session with me! I’m also accepting bodywork clients in State College, PA – please email me to discuss.