The practice of self-care has never been more crucial to us as individuals and as a collective whole, whether that means losing yourself in a hobby, operating in low-power mode, or creating space and time for yourself. These are just three of Dr. Darrien Jamar’s suggestions for how to live in a state of reflection and restoration during such a tumultuous time.
“We’re all recovering from things as we as a society become a lot more aware of the impact of our experiences,” says the reiki master, chiropractor and integrative life coach. “We’re realizing, ‘Oh, I have these things within me that need to be addressed and healed,’ because we are a lot more sensitive to them.”
Jamar says the majority of his clients in the District don’t want to pass on their own traumas, “especially within the African American community where we’re dealing with a lot of old, repressed trauma that’s not necessarily ours, but it’s been generational. I think that even blends to what’s going on in nature as well. We’re trying to bring the planet back to a space where there’s more respect and unity, not only for the animals but for ourselves individually.”
He breaks down his current flow of clients and their needs into thirds: chiropractic only, chiropractic and reiki, and reiki only, with life coaching integrated throughout. Locals can book virtual and in-person appointments with Jamar or in-person reiki sessions at Sense, a hair salon, apothecary and healing studio in Park View.
While he’s only recently launched these interwoven components of his career, his fascination with the body’s ability to heal itself and his focus on healthy living dates back to childhood. After receiving his bachelor of arts from Longwood University, the idea of chiropractic came to him and he found a school near Atlanta, Georgia where he received his doctor of chiropractic and master’s in positive psychology. His interest in mindfulness and energy flow led to training as a reiki healer, a natural next step in his professional evolution.
“When I want to get grounded, I go sit outside by a lake or a river and there’s an energy that consumes me,” he says. “That’s that kind of energy that’s in reiki – cleansing and moving through your body. And in those moments, I become clear and more inspired.”
He says while this is the end result for all reiki practice, it’s very individualistic in nature and depends on what grounds a person. He began practicing reiki in January 2020 and chiropractic in the fall of 2018, and in both, he carves out time before each session to discuss where the individual’s energy is and after each session, how to use the clarity gained to move his or her life forward.
While many entrepreneurs have struggled during the pandemic, Jamar says he has been blessed and grateful to watch his business grow by 15 to 20% each month. He noticed a curiosity and buzz around reiki pre-Covid but notes the inner turbulence within people during the past year has opened many doors for him to help work with and heal locals.
On a personal level, Jamar has relied heavily on meditation during Covid “to move forward, not reactively or out of fear.” He’s also been journaling a lot, an exercise he says is paramount to reminding ourselves that we’re all creative beings, and something he’s been doing since elementary school. In fact, he still picks up his first “Harry Potter” journal from time to time in moments of nostalgia or self-reflection.
“A lot of times as we move through life, we become burdened and repress our creativity and feelings. That journey [of journaling] allowed my creative voice to really come out.”
He’s also a big fan of taking himself on dates to get ice cream or a bite to eat, and of being comfortable existing in a lower energy state of being when he needs to.
“More recently, I’ve been in what I call low power mode. It’s similar to how bears hibernate in the winter. I noticed last year when it came to winter, my energy would shift and it was harder for me to get things done. I said, ‘Next winter, I’m going to do things differently.’ For me, low power mode has been about continuing to do stuff but just creating more space to have breaks in-between. It’s given me space to really reflect on the impact of the last year.”
Other activities keeping him centered include making floral arrangements for friends and local businesses and getting lost inside the world of a good puzzle. When drilled down to its most simple meaning, he says self-care is a constant commitment to keeping up with where you are at any given moment in your life.
“For a lot of us – especially in Washington, D.C. [where] we’re very aware and sensitive, and care about our environment – it’s easy to be consumed by those things. I think creating space and time to just disconnect and be with yourself and your thoughts [can help you] figure out, ‘Oh, I feel this type of way and didn’t even realize it’ or ‘Oh, that person said that to me earlier and it really touched me, so let me reach out to them.’ I think over time, that awareness we foster about ourselves bleeds into how we show up in our lives, and that becomes inspiration and trickles on, and [another] person takes that and does the same thing.”
His parting thought: Be silly and have fun. Take a page from Jamar’s book and crank the music and have a dance party in your bathroom, because why not?
“It seems so simple that I’m like, ‘Why hadn’t I thought about that before?’ It’s been feeling so good to disconnect from everything that I’m doing in life to just allow myself to be free.”
Learn more about Dr. Darrien Jamar’s chiropractic, reiki and integrative life coaching sessions at www.darrienjamar.com and book reiki appointments with him at Sense (3111 Georgia Ave. NW, DC) at www.sensestudios.co. Follow him on Instagram and LinkedIn @darrienjamar.
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