During the coronavirus crisis, Rachel's regularly-scheduled classes are held virtually over Zoom. The logins for all classes are on this password-protected page -- email Rachel for the password.

Renew. Reclaim. Restore. One layer at a time.

Renew. Reclaim. Restore. One layer at a time.

Renew. Reclaim. Restore. One layer at a time.

image

The hardest thing ever ( least for me), is committing to the ongoing process of my growth, transformation and healing.  Having a great deal of experience in living in denial, self numbing and self destruction, it seemed merely the act of waking into new life (which started as a huge kick in the ass about 20 years ago) would be the silver bullet that would grant me instant peace and wellness. Ha! Aren’t we all searching for the short cut to Nirvana!  The Saul to Paul moment! But truly this is not the case. Although I can attest to the real truth in the statement of Rumi, ” Through love, all pain will turn to medicine.” it is a winding non linear journey that continues to unfold in equal measures with grit and grace. Attention! Patience Required!

Through the years, I have learned to both embody the archetype of the Fool and lighten the load for this journey and at the same time, amass essentials tools of grace, faith, breath, body, courage,  humor, humility, surrender and the sense of always being in inquiry.

I have had the enormous benefit of having my own teachers on EarthSchool embody and witness to me their  ongoing commitment to healing, owning their challenges and vulnerabilities as well as showing up grounded in their strengths and gifts. If one is to teach, one needs to also be a lifelong student first and foremost. There are many who show up wanting to teach without this commitment.

Anyone who tells you they have dealt with all their shit and have everything all figured out, and know exactly what you need to do,  graciously (or not) remove yourself from this interaction, run like hell and don’t look back. Sadly, you will hear this from many unwilling to do their own ongoing continued work of opening and moving (stumbling) towards love of Creator, self and others. It is humbling, challenging, messy, painful, ecstatic, this work of  healing and sure as shit ain’t for the faint of heart. It is by far the easier path to “fix” others. We don’t have to deal with our own crap, we can look great and we can wrap ourselves in more and more layers of self righteousness to separate ourselves from those who don’t “get it” or who we perceive and name as “unworthy”. This. Is. Bull. Crap.

The older I get, I have this growing awareness of how much I don’t know. This is both liberating and terrifying. Often, people, sometimes friends, sometimes students, sometimes strangers seek guidance from me. I show up most days with toothpaste on my shirt and live in my community in a neighborhood most would consider undesirable and occasionally have an accidental dreadlock in my hair. So, I am guessing this is because I have lived a rather intense life and number 1. I am still alive. number 2. I show up occasionally singing and dancing in public for the sole purpose of expressing my insatiable love for life. And last but not least, I am not afraid of feeling. Feeling sorrow. Loss. Ecstasy (not the drug…no thanks and no need) Joy. Connection. So many of us are so afraid of feeling anything we numb ourselves with substances, questionable relationships, social media, and the equally unhealthy but socially acceptable culture of busyness.

I don’t know how to fix. Anything, including the kitchen sink. But I know how to cry, laugh, celebrate, mourn, hug, embrace, hold hands, be real, be raw, hold space, witness, be silent and breathe. I am in the ongoing process of doing this for myself and allowing much wiser folks and blessed fools to hold me in this authentic space as well. We are actually physiologically wired to be connected in real, true ways of being.

 Some cool Zen Dude stated (probably in some cool Zen setting)  that there is no room in the expert’s mind, but there is spaciousness in the mind of the beginner. May we all allow for a spacious mind, a boundless heart and an enormous capacity to hold all that life has to offer and can teach, mold and shape us in ways we can never imagine. May we hold confidence in our gifts and humility in our person in equal measure. May we embody strength and vulnerability in hard places. May we be be open to learning and receiving from the wise and the foolish. May we breathe, move, speak, live and love from the boundless love and compassion (Our Creator God. Source. Divine) where we are all held in grace.  Claiming or reclaiming this life we are blessed to be given. All of us.

ABOUT AUTHOR

Rachel Allen

Rachel Allen, B.A. Political Science/Sociology, is a Certified Music Practitioner, Sound Healer, Reiki Master, and Registered Yoga Teacher with a trauma informed/social justice framework. She has 20 years experience of working with some of the most amazing people on the planet; hospice patients and their families, patients in a variety of health conditions, survivors of sexual abuse, adults with mental illness and most recently, incarcerated women. Rachel is also passionate about supporting and working with caregivers to reduce burnout and compassion fatigue. Locally, Rachel teaches Creative Movement at Saint Francis University in Loretto, PA. Regionally and nationally, she teaches and presents at conferences and retreats, weaving live music, yoga, and creative movement into themes of compassion, self acceptance, and transformation. Rachel is committed to engaging people from all walks of life in the healing arts to create healthy, diverse, and joyful communities.