When we think of healing, we visualize things getting better in some way. We might imagine ourselves feeling more open, more productive and happier than we currently feel. We might also imagine ourselves enjoying healthier relationships and feeling the inner strength and freedom to do the things that truly bring us both joy and a sense of accomplishment.
What people don't always paint a clear picture of, however, is what the journey to getting to that better place really looks like. The thought of healing painful memories can feel frightening and it takes courage to lean into, rather than away from, the harder feelings, thoughts and experiences you’ve been through so that healing these things can occur. Healing is 100% possible, however, and with good support and the right tools it can be much easier and quicker than you imagined it would be. Here are a few points to keep in mind as you walk through the healing process:
1. You have to work towards allowing yourself to be vulnerable with another human being so they can understand who you really are and what you’ve been through. This is how they will develop true understanding and real concern for you.
2. In order for something to heal, the feelings that exist in connection to it must come up to be felt and released. It is this movement of stored feelings and repressed thoughts that leads to the release of pain from the body.
3. In order for something to heal, negative thought patterns about yourself which lack compassion and unconditional love must be understood as the product of pain and misunderstanding, not truth about who you really are, and these must be corrected. Thankfully, this happens as a natural byproduct of releasing the repressed pain and emotions connected to what you have been through. Your growing, conscious, understanding of what it has meant to go through the unique events of your life leads way to a growing sense of who you truly are and what matters the most to you, and it helps you embody the unique wisdom you hold.
4. Healing is a really beautiful process because it requires real love, deep awareness and true presence. However that love, awareness and presence Must be turned towards your pain and fear as much as towards your strength, intelligence and unique attributes or true healing will not take place.
I Guess That’s The Good News & The Bad News! Are You Up For It?
The Physical Body
The Physical Body is considered our densest layer and ailments here often have a significant impact on the other three layers; physical pain and illness can be quite consuming. When the physical body is sick, it has a profound effect on the other aspects of the self. Trauma (both physical and emotional) gets stored in the body’s tissues and organ systems and having help with the release of pain and fear from the physical body as a part of the healing process is both helpful and very soothing.
The Emotional Body
The Emotional Body is less dense than the physical body but more dense than the mental and energy bodies. People tend to think of their emotional and mental pain as one thing, but I find it very helpful to understand the differences between the two. Emotions should not be judged as being right or wrong but rather accepted, understood, and released.
Unresolved emotional experiences create congestion in the body. This emotional congestion builds up the more we push feelings down in our attempt to “Be ok,” function and deal with our busy lives in spite of what is hurting us. When given the time and support to release this emotional congestion, the results are profound. People experience feeling lighter, they have more energy, depression and anxiety reduce, and ones thoughts clarify. This leads to feeling more centered and grounded in the truth of who they are on a daily basis.
The Mental Body
The mental body houses our intellect and, while an emotion should not be judged as being right or wrong (it’s just a feeling), the thoughts and the judgments we make about ourselves, about others and about the world, based on those negative emotions, can definitely be incorrect.
It’s hard to have clear thoughts and draw accurate conclusions when we have not acknowledged the pain and fear we hold inside; Negative emotions have a way of seeping into our mental clarity. However, when we separate our emotions from our thoughts and release emotional pain and fear, we can then begin to heal the mental body.
This is where Cognitive Behavioral Therapy and other techniques which help us correct cognitive distortions come in. These techniques help us correct thought errors we have made based on unresolved emotional pain, and they help us open up to more compassionate ways of viewing ourselves and others.
The Energy Body
Our Energy Body is the most subtle layer of our system, yet it has a profound impact on our overall well being. Chinese Medicine teaches us that we have meridians which are rivers of energy that flow through our body (similar to our circulatory system but for energy instead of blood). These rivers of energy provide the energy highway within us and connect our entire body (organs, skin, nervous system, etc.)
The flow of energy through our bodies can slow down and stagnation can occur for a multitude of reasons including when we have repressed/ blocked emotional pain & anxiety that has not been healed. Therefore, addressing trauma & releasing the pain we hold inside ourselves gives us access to more of our vital energy and helps us feel lighter and more vibrant on a daily basis.
Cycles are laid down through events, some large some small, which occur in the life of every individual as it develops. The way we are raised from the time we are in our Mother’s wombs onward gives way to patterns of being. This is not new information. We know that eating, sleeping and amounts of positive nurturing are just a few of the factors that have an effect on the physical, emotional and mental aspects of who we are and that all of this is reflected in the state of our energy and the vitality of our being.
When we are exposed to certain patterns of behavior by those who raise us, these repetitive patterns form cycles within us. Cycles are like tracks we follow or grooves we fall into. What is laid down in our early years, along with our genetic inheritance and the impactful experiences that happen later on, form patterns, both conscious and unconscious, which follow us for the rest of our lives.
Cycles can be positive (a propensity towards organization, direct communication, healthy living, compassion towards others, pursuit of education, and creative tendencies as examples) or negative (a tendency to not follow through, manipulate, not care for the body, mental and/or emotional shutdown, a tendency to fight or harm others, and rigidity as examples). It is often the case that the first stage or step one must take to evolve as a human being involves bringing to conscious awareness what our cycles / repetitive patterns are and to begin to work with them so that one’s strengths and weaknesses can be clearly outlined and used to propel one forward consciously through greater and greater cycles of healing and growth.
A main focus of my work with you will be helping you to identify the cycles that were established within you throughout your life. Our work together will help you heal any deep grooves of pain / unhealthy patterns and help you reach for and establish ones that contribute to improved health, happiness and growth.
We delight in the beauty of the butterfly,
But rarely admit the changes it has gone through
To achieve that beauty.
Your truest strength lies within your greatest weakness. Letting yourself fall apart for a time is the most important gift you can ever give yourself because, without the breakdown of strength and the feeling of disintegration, the density you hold within you cannot be felt, dealt with and moved.
Like any birth or transformational process, your contractions and pain will be paired
with progress, new plateaus, and actualization of new potential.
Having the courage to look within is the key to this transformation process and makes way for the moments and movements you fundamentally need to change who you are into who you want to become.
Most of us hate the hard stuff. The bad feelings we hold inside are often avoided,
not only because they hurt but because we judge them. However, it is a misunderstanding to judge or avoid our weaknesses and pain; “I'll just try and be ok and march on” is at best a temporary fix.
Judging yourself slows your growth and prevents you from extracting Pearls of Wisdom from the experiences you have been through. On the other hand, bringing conscious understanding and healing to those experiences, and moving through any pain and fear you hold inside, achieves the opposite. It will help you deepen your understanding and your level of compassion for both yourself and others and it will add to your inner strength. As the pain-points and misunderstandings you hold within yourself are released, the barriers which hold you back will become clear.
Approach your therapy work from the perspective of a Transformational Journey. Your willingness to grow is all that is needed. As you dedicate yourself towards the discovery of the deeper layers of who you are and commit yourself to your growth, the next best version of yourself and of your life will begin to clarify. Additionally, your symptoms will decrease to manageable levels, and may be resolved completely.
Whether the layers you grapple with are large and obvious or more subtle, the journey of discovering what they are is essential to the actualization of your gifts and highest potential. Growth is cyclical. There will always be new challenges and new plateaus. Therefore, you will be taught skills to maintain your progress. When deeper layers or new circumstances arise, you will have the tools to work with these new challenges and continue your forward movement.