Breaking Through Restriction

TĀNE is the link between the terrestial and celestial realms. In Mirimiri and Romiromi, I was taught the energy of Tāne, present in each of us, is our centre of BALANCE. It was the son of Papatūāuku and Ranginui who longed for sunlight, for fresh air, for the freedom to express who he was and to explore the world beyond the 'safety' and protected environment between his parents. His Whaka-aro or perception of the world/based on his current knowledge and experience was extremely limited. Therefore he sought to expand his perception of the world (whaka-aro) from a place of Aro-ha even though it meant the only way he could do that was forcefully separate his parents and cause anguish and pain not only to them but amongst his siblings as well. Ultimately, his actions meant that all of us; the decendants of Ranginui and Papatuanuku, are released from the first tapu or restricted space.

In terms of Mirimiri and Romiromi, there have been many times when I literally was thrown in the deep end – in the moment faced with the choice to return back to my ‘safe place’; or to surrender; and with faith and trust attempt to navigate unfamiliar territory as best I could.  These were often my most powerful learnings.  Learning to trust yourself can’t always happen with a safety net!

I remember sitting alongside Papa Jo (Delamare) one day as he was about to begin working on someone.  Suddenly he decided he was going for lunch.  And as he got up to leave he told me he wanted this person ‘fixed’ by the time he got back. This was one of those defining moments for me -  I had never worked on anyone alone up until this point and I didn’t believe that I had enough experience or knowledge … after I realised I was totally on my own and got over my initial panic and self-doubt, I was fine.  And 1 hour later, much to my surprise, so was he!

A few years ago I was challenged and investigated by the Ministry of Health, (please click on the following link for the full story): 

At that time I informed the Ministry I was unwilling to conform or change any aspects of my practice in order to abide by their regulations.  In fact it was my right to practice the way that I had been taught and it was the right of Maori to have access to traditional practices such as Mirimiri and Romiromi - under Te Tiriti o Waitangi.  I not only had to stand firm – I had to break away once and for all from the perception that had dodged me for years - that I was just another massage therapist. 

Yes this had come about largely from the ignorance and misunderstanding that exists out there around Rongoa Maori, Mirimiri and Romiromi.  I had become accustomed to it, but I also had to take responsibility for creating ambiguity.  After that experience, there was no going back.  It was the catalyst I needed to get clear and move past my own stagnation, inaction and procrastination.

Moving beyond boundaries and breaking away from limitations can often mean discomfort for ourselves and sometimes pain for others. It may even go against the wishes and wisdom of people who have walked this earth longer than us. But as our Tupuna were great explorers and navigators - so is the human need to explore our world; discover what we are capable of and what lies beyond the restraints and regulations of the 'status quo'. FREEDOM It is an undeniable part of life. Tāne reminds us that sometimes, in order to be the best that we can be, that is exactly what needs to happen.

Whaia te iti kahurangi!

Jolie Davis