The Healing Journey is a series born out of the reality that we all have our own path to healing. When we share our journey two things tend to happen, we often find freedom in sharing our stories and we always inspire others. There is power in speaking up and it is time to tap into that power.
The mission of The Healing Journey is to provide a platform for women to connect, inspire one another and empower each other. Together we will stimulate conversation, create awareness, healing and stand together knowing that each and every one of us are unique, gifted and powerful.
After a few months away to deal with a family loss, it is such an honour to present this feature with you. This month, The Healing Journey presents Aarti M.
Aarti is a deeply intuitive, connected Goddess and her story is an incredibly insightful one. Like many others, Aarti M has a powerful commitment to the healing process and has evolved along the way. Aarti, it has been a pleasure working with you for this project. Join me in welcoming…
For those who don’t know you, what is your story?
My story is as unique and similar as any other. I grew up as an immigrant in the Arab world. I saw my family (parents and an older sister) as loving but I never personally absorbed or experienced it. I lived in a fantasy world and it was the only place I cared about. I had most behavioural problems of a spacey self- entitled brat – didn’t focus at school, lied, hid or stole things, as I got older apathy set in as I didn’t see the point of anything.
At 17, I came to Canada leaving my parents back home causing an emotional and cultural jolt. I didn’t fit in anywhere to start, so I watched people and dynamics and crafted a personality that I thought would be most ideal for people to befriend. This became the new me. Everything of my past was cast as old and useless, including my relationship with my concerned parents.
It’s shocking how long one can live in this way, and I did through my 20s as well. I lived with things that I thought were just a part of normal life –compensating for my lack of self-esteem, problems with boys, jealously and judgment towards other women, food disorders, depression, and eventually working 80 hours a week to prove myself and get ahead and an hour of yoga a week to tell myself that I’m feeling great.
Then one day, I had a mental collapse, which manifested through acute alopecia. When we feel cracked and broken at times, it’s sometimes easy to band-aid things. When you break apart, there’s nothing left to fix, so one has to learn what the cycles of rebuilding are.
What does your relationship with your womb look like?
Until my late 20s I hated those few days in the month when I would bleed. It felt inconvenient to be a woman. After my collapse, I felt intense rage, jealously and insecurity, especially towards other women. This made being in shared spaces unbearable as I couldn’t escape my thoughts and feelings.
I was so desperate that I tried anything that was suggested to me. Womb Healing was one of those things that just came at a time where I was too tired to fight with it. Over the years, my relationship with my womb space has transformed into one of safety and incredible wonder! This is now a space where I can look at deep patterns of being, breakdown, receive guidance and rebuild myself in presence and in the cells. Outwardly, she has created a very loving, appreciative relationship with nature, other women and with Mom.
If she could speak, what would she say?
I like to think she would be sassy and burst out with powerful yet simple thunderbolt quotes, at the exact moment I need to hear it, with the background of an intense cello symphony! Some things she would say would be: ‘Hello? Are you here or up there…? Oh hi!’, ‘Yes, this is uncomfortable, and now we shall sit with it’, ‘Ah how dreamy, now release it as all things happen in the time of the soil’, ‘Yeah,… it’s a little funny though!’.
What experiences have been the catalysts of change for you? How have you changed?
The big one would be the moments around the mental collapse. But it is never just one moment. Since then, there have been innumerable moments – conversations, various therapies, inner journeys, facing my fears in real life, moments in nature, chance passings, lying down on the earth– they have all been catalysts.
I used to be someone who was motivated by desire, pleasurable situations and moments, external validation, and what other people wanted. I lived with incredible amounts of repressed rage, undiagnosed depression and self-hate, all wrapped in a smile.
What changed is my perception. When I desire something, or I’m in a place of rage, grief or even joy, I can now remember that these are pieces of a person and moments of life. If I cant remember, then I know I am lucky enough to be reminded that we continue to define what our wholeness is as we move through our lives. Something that helps dissolve the intensity of my self-judgmental patterns is remembering that I can choose to be the source and recipient of my compassion. And, if this was someone I loved, asking myself, would I beat them down, or would I remind them of life lessons and learning of our existence. This tends to ease some of the pressure I feel from being in that place. Now, I am someone who goes through and feels all of life’s happenings and the work for me is to continue to allow all of life’s experiences regardless of my preference of ‘this is good’ and ‘this is bad’. I accept this now with more ease and cheese (still appreciating how important the cheese is).
How has womb healing changed your relationship with your mother?
I did a lot of work on my relationship with my Mom. The funny thing, is that I now realize, that so did she. 5 years ago, you would hear me say ‘she doesn’t understand me’. I realized that I didn’t want to understand her for so long. It had become easy for me to ignore her life before me and my memories and as such, block any chance of empathy and authentic love between us. When I finally faced this pattern, a lot came undone.
Connection is fascinating with this work – in relating differently to my womb, I was able to journey into her womb space and appreciate circumstances around my birth – physical and emotional demands upon her, an acute lack of support from women in the family, her desires for a better life for her children, her fears, her budding courage and independence, and fierce will and love that would take her across the ocean.
I would now characterize my relationship with her as one of admiration, ease and allowance. We have our differences, but I know that I’m allowed to be myself and I think she feels the same way.
When feelings of doubt come up, how do you work through it/ with it?
I realized that the source of my doubt is often my judgments. I’m more likely to have incredible doubts if I feel I need to look/be/act a certain way or achieve and certain something. Many times, I put this ideal upon myself, and on the road to try and meet it, I experience fear of failure, not being good enough and immense self-doubt. It is so easy to continue down into a hopeless dark pit from this place – we have all been there.
I have practices and support systems that are working for me and they continue to evolve and morph as I do. It is often a combination of many things – emotional, physical, maybe even social at times.
I find ritual space incredibly powerful, whether solitary or in circle with others. Often times, lighting a candle and silently journaling with slowed breath is all I need. Other times, I take a plant bath. My intention is to steady myself, uncover what needs to be in the most loving way and find a space of acceptance. Key word being coming to a place of acceptance, as opposed to “rid me of my problems with one swoop”. With acceptance, comes an undoing of coping mechanisms and the rise of belief patterns that I am clinging to. When I can see all this, I tend to be more okay with letting my “right and wrong/ failure and success” push mechanism take a vacation. There is no sense of urgency to fix myself, which is such a relief!
The key I think is to find what allows you to come to a place of acceptance of where you are right now. Be it ritual, yoga, dancing, talking it through with a friend or having a walkabout – whatever your medicine is.
In truth, so little is in our direct control, and when I remind myself not to see life as a test with a correct way or answer, I release myself from the pressures of conformity. Sometimes not knowing is most ideal and delightfully curious!
Are there any specific healing modalities that have helped you along your journey?
I am someone who tries a bit from every jar. Some jars include: Journaling. Singing. Dance. Talking. Holding people in silence. Astrology. Working in dreams and other subconscious work. Massage. Sitting in Circle. Labyrinths. Aromatherapy. Channeling. Plant Medicine. Connecting with rocks and crystal grids. Integrating Tantric and Sufi philosophies. Learning how my body relates to TCM and Ayurveda. Plant and salt baths. Travelling. Cranial- sacral work. Yoga. Acupuncture. Moxa. Cupping. Various forms of divination. Gratitude meditation. Living in conscious celibacy. Mindfulness with food and fasting. Baking. Spatial energy work in the home and at work.
I think the process of finding what works for you is important and that may mean experiencing things you don’t love – this teaches us openness. The reason I tried so many things is that I could no longer keep my everyday life separate from spiritual practices. So in order to integrate – I had to change how I lived.
What is your message for anyone in the midst of or about to enter their healing journey?
There will be times when you feel incredibly lonely, painfully so. We often find ourselves here. In these moments, I would invite you to remember. Remember that transformational healing isn’t essentially something where lighting strikes and our outer lives are suddenly better.
Mostly, transformation takes place in everyday life – tiny, slow, often missed occurrences that make us confront our fears, dare to love bigger, allow a mindful state – that eventually percolates infinite joy into our awesome limited bodies. So, remember that you are held and loved – by this planet, by people you may not be thinking about in those times. That you are nourished by sun and rain, food and water, music and restfulness.
You will fall, I will make a mistake, He will be mean, She will act selfishly, and They may be ignorant. Inevitably. Find something to break the illusion that you are somehow separate and grieving /suffering in your loneliness and that everyone else is happier. That you or your way is better or worse than another.
The next time you take a Selfie, maybe you can take a snapshot of where you are in layers deeper than your skin – your doubts, fears, desires, denials, frustrations, joys – and when you hear the shutter click. Know that these are the ranges of you, seeking your love and acceptance. The rest will come.
All my love!
Do you have any messages for those who don’t work in the healing arts and may feel intimidated/ doubtful/ overwhelmed?
My message is that if you feel fearful, doubtful, just plain overwhelmed by the stories you hear, the people you meet and by the sheer amount of work, then take a deep breath. This is called finding your edge. Huzzah!
You have found it by walking away from the warm nuggety centre of your perceived comfort. The nugget place is safe and your likely default. The edge seems scarier, harsher and outcomes are unknown.
Simply knowing this place within you, takes character and courage. You can visit this edge at any time out of curiosity and then run back to your safety. At some point though, life will bring you here to move you forward. Some may get pushed. Others will have to step off, from their own volition.
When you feel unsure or intimidated by this work, remember that this is your walk to your edge, part of your path to a whole, and a journey. So there is no rush or pressure, except that which you apply on yourself. You can get there in high stress or you can ease into the movement. I recommend the latter.
Do you have any messages for anyone reading this post?
To Clare and the ladies who have shared and will share, supported or made this website possible – I see vulnerability, strength, courage, focus, encouragement and support through your efforts and words. Thank you for giving me an expanded meaning to ‘empowered womanhood’
To the reader – my immense gratitude for holding me through my words. I feel lucky and blessed as I write this. Whatever you feel as you read through our stories – be it inspired, emotional, uncomfortable, wanting – is welcome.
All of you is welcome.
Aarti M, thank you for such a deeply insightful part of your healing journey. We so appreciate your willingness to be open and share pieces of yourself. We love you. Xoxo
Want to connect with Aarti M?
Womb Wellness & Workshops
Looking for support in your womb healing journey? Click on over to the Womb Wellness Program. This is a program that requires you to dig deep, to face what is stored in the womb and work with it to heal, release and receive. The program combines integrative health coaching, deep womb work and Reiki to support your healing. Read more…
Not ready for the full program? Check out Womb Wellness 101. A series of workshops that educate and empower women not only to reconnect with their bodies but learn how to heal themselves naturally. Together, we look at simple ways to make changes in our lives that benefit our health and wellness. From what foods promote womb wellness to how to decrease your PMS symptoms, Womb Wellness 101 will encourage you to take a proactive role in your health. See what WW101 is coming next. Read more…
Want to share your Healing Journey?
If you are interested in sharing your Healing Journey along with Aarti M and other powerful Goddesses, please email info(at)clarekenty.ca with “The Healing Journey” in the subject line and include a little about yourself and your story, or fill out the form below and I will contact you. Please be aware that The Healing Journey series is primarily about womb healing and womb wellness.