I’m just back from a fantastic week in Marrakesh, Morroco. The food was amazing and the sunshine was a blessing from what has been a cold, wet Dublin spring. On the sunny terrace, I had plenty of time to rest, write and paint, all my favorite things. My next best, other favorite thing is massage, any treatment that involves touch works for me. So I took a few visits to Hammams. These were a revelation. I had visited a Turkish bath at 19 in Istanbul but now approaching 50, tired and a little world-weary I was really going to make the most of these visits. I lay in the steamy hot rooms, I was washed by women head to toe, scrubbed, rubbed and oiled, I felt like a queen. This got me thinking, this got me feeling …… how easy it is to love myself, accept myself and feel at ease with myself, when I am treated like this; When I allow and give time for these body rituals.
In Marrakesh, there are segregated public Hammams which people use at least once a week. There is a religious element to the Hammams as Water plays a central role in Islam. Before praying a person must perform a small ablution, “wudu” and each week people visit the Hammam for washing and massage.
The Prophet, peace be upon him, said ‘cleanliness is half of faith’. http://www.bbc.co.uk/religion/galleries/wudhu/
This culture of a daily, water ritual is a way of preparing to meet God. It seems part of everyday life to use water as a way of making a spiritual connection. For me, the water revealed a deep feeling of self-love. That in this place, at that time, I was loved and I completely loved myself. I felt that the world was benevolent, supporting me, loving me. Brought to my own inner self, where I felt at ease, everything was just perfect.
Before going on holiday I was really struggling and arguing with an ex, the father of my twins. I was tied up in knots from the stress and overthinking regarding an argument we had had, but in this place of self-love, I could completely drop all of the mind-melting, stomach cramping, intestine lurching thoughts. He could be him with his opinions and I could be me with my choices. This complete acceptance of myself is truly healing. I do believe it also tangibly affects those around me. The kids felt the lack of tension within me and so they are more at ease. They approached me with their concerns as I had dropped wanting their father to behave a certain way which allowed them the freedom to be themselves. Holding on to the trauma of the argument and distress would have brought real, tangible illness and dis-ease to my body. In this way, it is my belief that self-love is crucial when dealing with chronic long-standing illness. When trauma is held in the body, it can create an acid environment which can lead to many health problems such as Arthritis, Fibromyalgia, Chronic Fatigue, Osteoarthritis, Nerve Damage, Heart Disease and some Cancers. So it’s essential to cultivate and connect with a practice of self-love.
There are 3 major stressors for the body which create trauma
- Environmental: toxins and pollutants
- Physical: trauma such as accidents and abuse
- Emotional: responses to situations
I will be talking more at the upcoming Fibromyalgia Summit on 12th May 2018 and within the Online supported programme as to how to address these stressors through Diet, Potent Acupressure Points and Breathing Meditation Practices. For a free lesson and introduction visit:
But why not first find a way to feel self-love. Perhaps use water; everytime you have a shower feel the life-giving benevolence of the water as it cascades over you, rinsing away any blemishes or self-loathing you feel and restoring you to a whole, perfect, godlike person, cleansed and forgiven, capable of following your own unique path, without the judgements of others, full of roaring, passionate love for yourself and the choices you make.