In over 25 years that I have been a holistic healing practitioner, I have found that one of the most powerful metaphors for the human condition is the Genie in a Bottle. It has continued to inspire me over the years, because…
WE are the genie. Unlike the tales from the orient, the genie isn’t a power outside of ourselves. Our true being is a BIG, radiant, creative soul and spirit with vital energy – chi, prana, ki, aura or whatever you want to call it – and we have a vital purpose and mission for being here. It is important to allow ourselves and our energies to emerge from the bottle and soar in ways that feel right to us.
The bottle is the body. The body is not a prison: it is a home, a vehicle, a playground, a sanctuary and place for our spirit and soul to take refuge if needed. And the body needs to be magnificently nourished and maintained.
We put ourselves in the bottle. We are not confined to a bottle for an eternity of servitude, complete with slave handcuffs. It is important to remember that we are primarily the ones who keep ourselves bottled up.
The bottle’s lid can sometimes be over-tightened. Even after all these years, I still remind myself many times a day to breathe and relax in order to get rid of unnecessary compression and tension. That is why tai chi, yoga, breathing exercises, energy therapies, mindfulness and relaxation are so good for us: they help us to stay balanced and connect us with the inner wellspring that is ever-ready to nourish and comfort.
Rub the lamp or bottle to free the genie.Massage, self-massage and other forms of body work and holistic healing can help us to relax and to loosen the lid to free up enormous amounts of energy and vitality.
Breathing and relaxation help to free the genie. A simple progressive relaxation and breathing technique is to associate the numbers 8 to 1 with body parts: 8–the right arm; 7–the left arm; 6–the right leg; 5–the left leg; 4–the abdomen and hip area; 3–the chest; 2–the crown of the head, down the spine and out through every nerve of the body; 1–the head, scalp, forehead, temples, muscles around your eyes, cheeks, jaw and throat. Try associating each number with those body parts, and take a deep breath, slowly exhale counting backward from 8 to 1, relaxing each associated area of your body as you do. Do this as often as you need in a safe, inconspicuous location.
Return to the bottle as needed.Like a tortoise that pulls into its shell, we need to return to the bottle periodically to rest…restore…refresh…get the focus back on ourselves.
Whether we are primarily more introverted or extraverted, ultimately, there is a natural rhythm we all instinctively have in regards to how much time we need to spend recharging our batteries in our bottle. This simply needs to be balanced with the time spent releasing energy into the world. I hope that you will stay in touch with that rhythm, that you find these reminders as helpful as I do and that you will grant yourself the wishes of your heart of hearts.