The Agent Scully of Self-Care & Healing: an interview with Karrie Myers Taylor — Part 3
“I had a real fear and I think maybe this is a lizard brain thing…we have a real fear of being booted off the island…extracted from the tribe. The tribe is thinking this, and we are thinking something different. Something’s wrong with us and we’re going to get disconnected and basically detach from our survival mechanism. What we don’t understand in this modern age is when we don’t necessarily need the tribe for survival like we were used to, but we’re still tethered to that.” — Karrie Myers Taylor
Note from the Editor:
I’m really excited to share Part 3 (the final part) of Karrie Myers Taylor’s perspective, a self care and reiki healing practitioner (and honorary nerd) of the San Francisco Bay Area. If you’ve ever watched an X-Files episode, you will understand why her and I think it’s funny that I called this article “The Agent Scully of Self-Care & Healing”. If you haven’t watched the show, here’s the very quick lowdown: Scully is an FBI agent and medical doctor that investigates weird cases with her partner Fox Mulder. In most cases, she is a skeptic first…a believer second.
Karrie can definitely relate to Scully on many levels. I hope you enjoy the continuation of this fascinating perspective!
— Ryan Fukuda
RF: I have a couple of more questions for you.
What does guru mean to you?
KMT: When someone brings up the word guru to me, I bring up the word boundaries. (laughs)
RF: (laughs) I’m gonna play the word game with you in a whole separate interview someday because that’s just funny.
KMT: I mean, even with the work that I’ve been doing with people in self-care and my own therapy, I understand that a lot of what people go through and what they bring to healers is their bodies and minds trying to heal itself. They just want someone to hold their hand and basically be a parent. Probably the most soothing thing I’ve ever heard anyone say to me was, “this is going to be hard and painful…I’m also going to be there the entire time”. You’re just going to hold space for me and that’s empowering.
It’s very easy to believe that the person is providing you with healing when it’s really you providing it for yourself. The healer is a conduit or source of information and bearing witness of it. I think astrology is quite soothing (because I have that kind of scientific mind) because I think to some degree it’s like if you can handle letting your ego dissolve a little bit, it’s humbling.
So the thing with the guru though is that you can often think that the person is providing it for you. That’s where you get into that sticky psychic myth. It makes it seem fishy and that they’re not real because there is this idea that you need that person and they just keep taking money from you and play on your fears. I think healing is about removing that fear. So the guru thing to me is that this is a person…this is a guide. They’re basically holding a place for you until you can be that for yourself. They’re just saying, “hey, I’m just going to hang out here until you’re strong enough to do this”. I think sometimes people forget the part where they are going to be strong enough to do it. They say if I cling to this person, they will keep providing me with what I need, but all the healing is returning back to yourself. So it’s important to have boundaries.
I was actually just talking about this with a friend of mine who is a yoga instructor. We were talking about what I stress to all of my clients when they praise me on my energy…I’ll just say to them, “For this session, I was ‘this’ for you, but this whole thing was really about you.” Sometimes in Reiki, people get visual impressions in their mind. When I first started Reiki, I often would get images because I wasn’t able to verbalize and I didn’t actually believe it. So I would get images but I would just be like “I didn’t see that”. (laughs)
I had a real fear and I think maybe this is a lizard brain thing…we have a real fear of being booted off the island…extracted from the tribe. The tribe is thinking this, and we are thinking something different. Something’s wrong with us and we’re going to get disconnected and basically detach from our survival mechanism. What we don’t understand in this modern age is when we don’t necessarily need the tribe for survival like we were used to, but we’re still tethered to that. So we are certainly all connected and we need our tribe, we just don’t need it for our survival. We aren’t babies left abandoned in the woods.
So with the guru thing, it’s about constantly telling your client about the role that you’re actually playing in their life and that their role is so much bigger in what you’re doing.
RF: Great, thank you.
You’re also a professional artist and creative. How has healing work supported that part of you?
KMT: In every way. Seriously, I would not be nearly as productive. I wouldn’t be able to be an artist and a visual storyteller and run two businesses if I weren’t doing this work…if I wasn’t doing Reiki…if I wasn’t taking care of myself. In fact, when I started having all the different experiences with bodyworkers that were getting more loud and clear…”you gotta take care of yourself, Karrie”…this is happening because you’re not taking care of yourself”. And it is that way of thinking: if I go to this person they will provide me with the things that I need…give me my team, and they will help me be what I need to be.
What I was starting to understand is that I could be there for myself and for others.
I can take on two more businesses if I wanted. My brain functions so much clearer when I’m in tune with myself and I have to confront things immediately. It’s like, I was telling you before, I’m doing some PTSD work. I’m dealing with it because it’s right here in my stomach and I can’t look away. It’s going to get dealt with. I would rather deal with it than just put a Band-Aid on it.
I think it’s not either/or. We are meant to use these spiritual modalities and integrate them into ourselves so that we can continue to produce in this modern world. They go hand-in-hand. I think we’re actually stagnating ourselves by relying on external things or our “check out” devices. We’re actually slowing productivity by not integrating these modalities and keeping it something that’s secret.
I have a friend who’s a musician and singer and she use to work with this Grammy award-winning singing teacher. She said she went to see this woman and had her sit in a nest of crystals. She was like “What am I doing?” Is she singing better, yes. So I ask my clients if it’s working for them. If it is, great! Do you need to know what each of these crystals are or any of these things? Not necessarily. Is it working for you? Yes. So you can go with that.
I actually think it’s important for people to start putting these things into their budgets. Going out and talking to practitioners to find which ones you connect with and then figuring out which one works with you in your mind and your body and then budget that as a part of your self-care the same way that you budget going to the gym or your therapist you know. It’s all here for you.
RF: So are you saying it’s like a way of life or a lifestyle?
KMT: Yeah, and it’s a lot easier to be honest than maybe hurting yourself. I think everybody has different things they respond to, so we’re not all cookie cutter. We’re not going to go to the gym and get all of our aggression out. We have different ways of doing things.
RF: What would you say to someone who would like to confront the things they want? How would you begin? You said before that there is a lot of pain involved.
What will help people do the work and take the step?
KMT: I look at this way sometimes: I want to look like this forever. I want to feel this good forever. I want to have this kind of clarity and I want to have this level of health. I love going to the doctor and having him tell me nothing’s wrong. In fact, I want them to tell me “oh my god, you’re bionic!”. That may not always be the case but, I love living through situations easier.
I had a car accident on my way to a workshop. I got that guy’s information in 10 minutes and I was like “you know what, it was an accident…let our insurance handle it…see ya.” And ya know, I got to my workshop and I was fully there for people. Being on the other side of that, there’s no way I was going to do that. So there is that much more peace and clarity. And then there’s the ego thing: you want to look good and you want to be there for your relationships and have more productivity work.
I think the things that people should start with (because I’m practical, give me two or three things, right?)…I think from my experience you always have a therapist. You can always have somebody that you are consistently working through your conscious and subconscious griminess with (laughs). Then, I’d start with Reiki because I think Reiki is a really good starter kit or good introduction. It’s fully clothed and people just come and relax and let themselves be taken care of. And I often say to people, “How often do you let somebody take care of you?”. There is a lot of trust involved with that and just building that trust is healing.
So I tell people to start with those two things because sometimes acupuncture can be a little scary. Anytime something is a little scary, don’t let fear keep you from the thing that’s going to heal you. So try Reiki, try acupressure and try massage. I mean getting a massage is fun! I don’t think getting a Swedish massage is fully self-care. It’s fun. Getting a myofascial massage is the real deal! Dayyyum! (laughs) I would often tell my massage therapist that I sound like a cross between a brothel and a sports bar in our session because I’m exercising something. I wanted some demons out! (RF laughs) You may not be ready for that, so just start with Reiki and get a practitioner that you really trust and that you know. And, also always make sure you let them know your own history and your own trauma so they can take care of you and make sure that those things are released properly.
RF: That’s a moment you don’t have to hold back.
KMT: Right, so they can take care of you. I always think it’s like when you go to a restaurant and I have some clients that are always asking me, “How do I order healthfully in a restaurant?”. It’s like, well they’re there to take care of you because they want you to come back. So you tell the waiter “these are the things I need to be taken care of so you get a good tip and I come back”. And they are more than willing to do it because that’s what they want. So it’s the same thing when you go to a practitioner. It’s like ordering from a menu: Here’s what I need so that you can give me the best experience, so I come back and I continue to heal.
RF: Thank you so much. That was awesome.
KMT: yay!!! Thank you Ryan.
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Karrie Myers Taylor coaches busy people to weave a holistic, daily self-care routine into their lives (and sustain it) with guidance, support and fun.