As a fellow happiness-seeker, I wanted to take a moment to share with you the reason I’ve become so inspired and passionate about The Shakti® Mats.
I had been struggling with high chronic stress, anxiety and depression for years and, in hindsight, I didn’t actually even realize just how bad things were. I had gotten so used to saying to everyone else and trying to convince myself that everything was “great” that I actually didn’t even think I was stressed at all.
I’m sure so many of you can relate to this!
When I found The Shakti® Mat, I was intrigued by the potential benefits of acupressure from this spikey mat. I had just started really delving deeper into learning more about energy healing modalities, like acupuncture and Reiki, and so The Shakti® Mat attracted my attention straight away.
From using the mat myself and through my understanding of anatomy and physiology from my various yoga teacher trainings, I could very easily understand how the mats could work on the physical body as well.
As I expanded my understanding of how energy moves through and around the body and of the effects of stimulating energetic meridians and points on the body, I also very easily understood how these mats could work energetically as well.
But what really got my attention was a very profound realization that occurred to me while observing one of my clients step onto the mat; The Shakti® Mat simulates difficult or even painful experiences in life!
At the time, many of my Reiki clients were also struggling with chronic stress, anxiety and depression (like me). Read more about this in my recent blog on Emotions. A common thread among all of us was that we were all very reactive to various things happening in our lives. I realized that stepping on The Shakti® Mat was very similar to stepping into our lives; some days are easier than others and some days are more painful than others. The same was true for my clients (and myself) when using The Shakti® Mat. Some days, stepping on the mat felt like a piece of cake and other days it felt like the most painful experience. It was then that I realized that The Shakti® Mat was possibly the greatest metaphor for life and that the way we react to the mat could potentially be a very clear indication of how we respond to difficult experiences in our lives.
Armed with this perspective, I set out to test my theory in my life, along with testing this theory with friends and clients of mine too. I wanted to see if we used The Shakti® Mat as a sort of “training ground” for learning to breathe through and coach ourselves through difficult experiences, if it could make life’s challenges easier to navigate.
You see, what I learned about my chronic stress, anxiety and depression is that it stemmed from not trusting the flow of life; from believing that things were happening “TO” me and not “FOR” me. It stemmed from fixating on the drama of what was happening and from not taking responsibility for my emotions. My anxiety and depression haunted me because I was constantly criticizing and being hard on myself. My anxiety and depression persisted because I forgot to breathe in the moment. Through using The Shakti® Mat I can now see this with full clarity and make a conscious choice to do things differently.
What I discovered through clarity was a new sense of empowerment and inspiration, a new take on life, freedom really! After only just a few weeks of practicing nicer self-talk, deeper breathing and shifting my perspective to the possible benefits of being on the mat (as opposed to fixating on the emotions of fear, panic, and pain), I started catching myself doing these same coaching and breathing exercises when life got tough too!
Over time of approaching life in this way more and more, I started to notice just how stressed out I actually was. This new awareness meant that I gained the clarity to start making positive changes in my life to reduce my stress. I also started being able to catch myself BEFORE my anxiety really started to kick in and found the strength and focus to skillfully navigate myself out of a “panic” state and into calming myself down before things got too overwhelming!
What was even more significant and exciting to me is that my friends and clients whom I had prescribed “Shakti Sessions” to were also reporting their stress and anxiety levels were feeling more manageable!
For me, that’s all I needed and I set out to bring this newest perspective of The Shakti® Mat out into the world through workshops and trade shows as an ambassador for Team Shakti NZ. As I began to share my perspective of The Shakti® Mat helping us learn mental resilience, people started to open up to me about their own personal struggles with chronic stress, anxiety and depression. I quickly realized that this life-changing perspective that meant so much to me, also had a profound meaning to so many others as well!
I have always been passionate about helping others and empowering others. All we really need in the end is love and support. This love and support must come from within first in order for significant change to take place and it takes practice to learn a new way of behaving in the face of difficulty and pain. The Shakti® Mat can help us learn to be kind and compassionate to ourselves by using it as a tool for practicing navigating pain and difficulty.
So the next time you are having a difficult or even painful experience (whether on The Shakti® Mat or in your life), stop and ask yourself these questions:
- What is my initial “reaction” to this experience?
- How am I treating/speaking to myself through this difficulty?
- Would I speak or treat a loved-one the same if they were the ones in difficulty?
- How can I be kinder and more compassionate with myself through this difficult experience?
- What lesson or benefit can come out of this experience
Remember, every experience no matter how painful has inherent benefits and lessons to be learned. Practice this perspective often until it becomes your core belief. Everything is always working out for you but you might not always see or know exactly how. So breathe through it. Look for what can be gained from the pain, what can be learned and trust and support yourself.
You’ve Got This!