my healing journey
I believe life is beautiful. Even suffering contains the seeds of beauty. In our darkest moments our inner light has the potential to shine at its brightest. This is the essence of my practice: I believe we all have the ability to transform pain into beauty, suffering into healing, fear into love.
I began consciously studying the mind-body connection during my undergraduate studies at the University of Portland. As a philosophy and psychology double major I spent a lot of time practicing self reflection, observing and discussing human behavior, and thinking critically about the meaning of life itself. I loved college very much and enjoyed spending time with my stable, loving, and supportive “framily” at UP.
From there I went on to be a special education teacher for Teach For America in South Louisana. Moving to Louisiana meant leaving my best friends and family and entering a whole new world. I was forced to deal with the reality of poverty and racial injustice, as well as my own personal shortcomings as a teacher. I wanted so badly to help my students realize their fullest potential that I was sometimes too critical of myself for falling short of this lofty goal.
I placed a lot of unrealistic expectations on myself as a new teacher and paid the price little by little as stress, anxiety and depression chipped away at my ability to find happiness and inner peace.
A steady meditation practice at the Tam Bao Temple in Baton Rouge saved me from abusing drugs and alcohol to fill the growing emptiness inside. Meditation led me to Yoga and Yoga led me to a whole new way of living.
When I moved back to my hometown in Illinois I was ready to settle down and start a family. After a devastating miscarriage I received my first Reiki attunement. Practicing Reiki and Yoga and using my trust Tarot cards helped me heal after my loss, and in the process I learned I had both a passion and gift for helping others heal as well.
The suffering of my early and mid-twenties led to spiritual breakthrough for me. I finally began to feel as though my life has meaning, that I have purpose. I finally began to trust Life and feel the presence of the Divine. Time and self-reflection have allowed to pass into a new stage of my life.
Passion and Compassion
I have reached a stage in my life I am already calling my “passion and compassion” stage. My past suffering has taught me what it means to heal. I know this because I have experienced it over and again. This lesson has taught me to deal more openly with my current pain. I no longer reach for defense mechanisms, I am more aware now and prepared to deal openly with my suffering.
When I meet others who are suffering I recognize that feeling, because I have felt it for so much of my life. I immediately begin to find compassion in my feelings of empathy, because I have learned to treat myself with compassion.
Treating myself more compassionately has allowed me to explore my passions more authentically. I have always been passionate, but the power of self compassion has helped me take a chance on my own dreams and to follow my bliss, my calling, even when it seems foolish to do so.
I love to serve and nurture others, and I also love to seek adventure and learn new things. I am fascinated by the mystery of life. I simply cannot fathom how people ever get bored! I like to think that my zest for life is contagious and that my passion is one of the gifts I have to offer my fellow humans. I have found that a simple smile can jump start a lively conversation that leads to inspiration, and sometimes even conscious action towards positive change.
I try to treat everyone I meet with respect and kindness. Compassion is a cornerstone within all of my practices. I find compassion is hardest to practice on myself, and when I encounter people who have the same struggle we are able to connect quickly and help one another work through it. I am grateful to every student I work with because I inevitably grow in the process, too.
A Global Shift
I believe our planet is undergoing a global shift in consciousness. Everyday more people become aware of the things they can do to help make life better for all of us. Everyday more people become aware of how deeply interconnected we are with all other living things. I have hope for humanity, and I believe we each have an important role to play to assist in the healing of our world. Teaching is my contribution and I am both joyful and humbled to play my part.
Author: Kay Metzelaars
B.A. Philosophy & Psychology, University of Portland, OR
Reiki Master Teacher
500hr Certified Yoga Instructor
Date Published: 10/12/2018