Author Rachel Kling's Journey of Inner Transformation.
In her new book, “My Walk on the Aikido Path: A Healing Journey of Self-discovery,” psychotherapist and author Rachel Kling credits aikido with giving her the tools to heal from an abusive childhood and mental breakdown. She describes the night she walked into her first aikido class as “the moment when healing began.” Kling gives a breathtaking account of the movements that facilitate connection in aikido, and asserts that anyone can seek out this deep form of healing with the pursuit of an endeavor that brings meaning and joy. Her book paints a fascinating journey from growing up in a cult-like community to her fulfilling life today. With a daily practice of connection, compassion and harmony, Kling observes that her therapy practice hones her aikido skills and her aikido practice hones her therapy skills.
A writer and an aikido practitioner of 20 years, Rachel Kling started her career as a psychotherapist after graduating from Saint Michael’s College with a clinical psychology degree in 2016. She now holds a master’s degree of Fine Arts in Creative Writing from Columbia University. She currently lives in Burlington, Vermont, and is ready to share her book with the world. Continue reading for an exclusive interview.
Describe your book, “My Walk on the Aikido Path: A Healing Journey of Self-discovery”
The book is a story of inner transformation and healing. It chronicles the early childhood trauma that led to a mental breakdown as a young adult and talks about how my discovery of aikido helped me heal from my past and discover my path as a psychotherapist.
In your book, you discuss the traumas you have endured throughout your life. How do you feel these traumas changed you?
As a young person. I was afraid all of the time, I never felt that I belonged anywhere. This trauma response informed my early aikido experiences as well. When I began aikido I felt like an outsider. But as I trained, trauma became a creative force in my life, an opportunity to find a point of connection with people.
You had a breakdown but were able to turn your life around and now are a successful psychotherapist, is that the story you tell in the book?
Yes. In the final analysis, that is the story. It is a story of transformation. And it tells the story of the vehicle of that transformation, which is aikido.
How did Aikido become a part of your life?
After the breakdown, I went up to live with my father in Northern New York, to convalesce. I tried my hand at a number of things, and one of them was physical therapy school. I was miserable and scared all the time. I went to my professor to talk to her about it, and it turned out she was an aikido instructor. She said she believed that aikido could help me, and I should come to her class.
How do you feel your past experiences help inform your practice?
I work with a lot of trauma survivors. It’s helpful to understand the experience from the inside out. Of course, each experience is unique, as each human being is unique. But personal insight gives me a good sense of where people are coming from.
What surprised you most about writing your book?
Two things. The first was to see for myself, literally in black and white, the changes I’ve gone through. And the other was to recognize the understanding I have developed of aikido and its principles.
After reading your book, what would you like readers to come away with?
My hope is that people reading this book will realize that no matter how bad things are we can always find meaning in our lives. It is in our nature to keep going. We should never give up.
What are you currently working on?
Currently, I am working on a fantasy novel called “The Keeper of the Flame.” This is also a story about hope and the tenacity of the human spirit.
For more information on Rachel please visit http://rachelklingauthor.com/