I was trapped in paradise.
Teaching in another country (with my kids in tow) has always had its challenges. I’m not complaining—I realize I’m fortunate. But on this trip the person supporting me started having a mental health crisis. I’d hired her to help, but she started demanding things we hadn’t agreed on, accusing me of things I didn’t do, and being forceful.
Friends from home were sending me messages like ‘oh you’re so lucky to be in the tropics doing what you love,’ but they didn’t know all hell was breaking loose.
It wasn’t pretty.
I was frustrated, angry, and devastated by it all. I was angry with myself for not seeing this coming. She couldn’t help her condition, but now it had become my problem too.
It was the first time I tried the technique of breaking a stick. Tamika learned about it from a Shaman/Medicine Woman and had been using it for herself, and the kids she counseled at the school board. I never thought much of it, but they were loving it.
It sounds overly simple, but the intention behind it makes it effective.
Breaking a stick is used to reclaim our power when someone has attempted to derail us. We all know nature is a healing force. But that day, 10 years ago, breaking a stick gave me instant release. I still had to deal with the situation, but the ritual helped me let go of the sting.
After that, each day I’d choose a stick from the ground (or let it choose me). The simple steps are: 1) Choose the stick. 2) Bring the situation to mind with the intention to release it from your energy field. 3) Break the stick. 4) Exhale forcefully through your mouth three times. 5) Throw the broken pieces as far as you can. Sometimes I’d say “ha!” in a guttural way to energize the discharge.
Walking through the jungle to teach, sometimes I’d do it three times a day.
The best thing is that you don’t need to go out and buy a special crystal or pay for a therapy session. You just need to find some sticks!
Since then, I’ve used this with my kids to shift the energy when they’re having a hard time.
I’m sharing this now because July is a big month—and breaking sticks might help.
It’s eclipse season and we’ve got 3 in a row—2 in July, and one in August. Eclipses mean the energy ramps up a little; it can feel intense. Interactions may feel a bit more heated with the potential for misunderstandings. Big shifts are taking place for everyone and we have the opportunity to let go of old patterns and deal with our unconscious emotions.
Bring on the sticks, people!
Maybe you should break a stick right now.
What’s got you wanting to break a stick lately? Is there a situation that the trees/sticks could support you with? I’d love to hear from you, in the comments below.
Carolyn Burke is co-founder of DevaTree School of Yoga and directs the upcoming HeartRise Children’s Yoga Certification that begins on September 20, 2018.