Wednesday, 1 June 2016

Path to #enlightenment - step 6 of 10000000........'Healing'

When I left my busy full-time job some months ago, I thought I did it in order to have more time for writing and going freelance. But now - six months later - it's finally hit me. It wasn't at all about writing. It was always about HEALING.

What do I mean by healing? 

The way I understand it, healing is when you work towards loosening old patterns - behaviours, thoughts and emotions that may have been useful once, but no longer serve you. In order to let them go, you first need to acknowledge that they are there and then work at changing them.

I imagine my mind and my body to be a bit like a wardrobe. If it's full of old season stuff that I just can't let go of for various emotional reasons, where am I going to put the new season clothes? 

Shades much brighter, patterns more delicate and airy, a new image of myself and what I could be wearing - and the places where I could be wearing it - could never fit into these stuffy old drawers and dusty old shelves. And once I have got some new clothes, say, for a fancy dinner party or a mountain hike - wouldn't opportunities and invitations to go to those places flow into my life with more ease, if I had the right outfit for it, if I could actually imagine myself being there and wearing it?

If your mind and body is so clogged up with this last season stuff, where are you going to get the inspiration and the space to step into the unknown, to discover your passion and hear your intuition? 

I feel like big changes are knocking on the door-step - changes I have been asking for, or have been wanting. For a while I wondered why are they taking so long? It's now so obvious. I need to dispose of all this old junk first, before I can let these opportunities in - or else, I will fall back into the same patterns, lose my confidence in the same way, and fail to recognise the opportunities that could take me into the direction of a life I really want to live.

The most effective healing

These are my personal ramblings, so an expert on healing may disagree, but it feels as though the most effective and fastest way of healing is one which incorporates MIND, BODY and SPIRIT.

I've often wondered why talk therapy doesn't work for everyone, why exercise fails to cure depression, why having fun with friends fails to make you more confident at work. 

I feel the answer is that all three of these areas - mind, body and spirit - need to work together, in order to attain a wholesome healing, restoring you to your natural state, free of all social conditioning and past trauma. If you see a therapist on a regular basis and really question why you are having certain reactions to certain situations, but at the same time engage in some physical activity AND take up some new hobbies, see old friends or take some time out to meditate, I feel that healing can be achieved faster than you may think, setting loose even deeply ingrained patterns. Here are a few ideas on mind/body/spirit healing exercises.

Healing the mind
Healing the body
Healing the spirit

Keeping a writing journal/diary

Dancing to express your emotions and suppressed feelings
Seeing friends/family/having a community
Questioning your beliefs
Any exercise that makes you sweat – or stretching
Taking a holiday – or a long tea break!
Practicing mindfulness and meditation
House work – cleaning, cooking etc
Hobbies – singing, crafts, painting, doodling
Talk therapy/seeing a counselor
Gardening or going for a walk
Spending time in nature

Balance between mind, body and spirit healing

An important thing to note here is balance. Spend too much time on your mind, analysing your feelings, and you may develop anxiety. Spend too much time on physical activity, and you may push your emotions ever further away and convince yourself that you are invincible and don't need help anymore. I find that meditation - even ten minutes a day - or yoga can help maintain a healthy balance.

Why are we so afraid of emotions?

Emotions can be scary - especially if you have a family to care for, a busy and responsible job to stay on top of, or a demanding social life. But when we push emotions away in order to get on with our day-to-day lives, we don't realise that we end up coping, and it's never the right time to heal. We are not thriving. There is a big difference.

Thriving means that you can go for the things you truly want, you can make active choices towards achieving them. Coping means settling for less - doing things in order to get by. And often blocked or neglected emotions are knocking on our door with only one purpose - healing. 

It becomes even more difficult to face our emotions if we associate them with shame and guilt - if we tell ourselves things like 'I'm not supposed to feel like this,' 'I'm overdramatising,' 'I shouldn't feel this way - I should be content with what I have.' It may feel like healing yourself is selfish, like you could be doing better things with your life, or that you are just going to end up dwelling on the same old problems without a hope of moving forward.

We often push emotions away because we believe they will harm us, if we set them loose, and we'll lose our jobs, friends and maybe even families. But when they come knocking on our door, it's with one purpose only - to heal. Not to drag us down into despair, not to make us lose everything we've worked so hard to get - but simply to heal. 

And if you heal today, you are more likely to bring happiness into the world - even just by ensuring that you don't ingrain the same old patterns you rooted out from your life, into your children and future family.

Healing is anything but selfish. 

But when we simply cope and try to get by, the right moment for healing never comes where we feel ready to surrender to them and simply let them be.  This article in Positive News sums it up pretty well - how surrendering to our most uncomfortable feelings and melting into them instead of trying to make plans to cope with their presence, paradoxically, will usually turn out to be the magic cure!

Healing as an ACTIVE choice

I never thought of healing as an active choice - I thought that people went through with it when they reached some overwhelming state in their life where they could no longer cope without seeking help. But most of us, I feel, scarcely ever recognise that we need help - especially in our technological age where distractions are so accessible.

We become addicted to distractions because they point us away from what is really going on inside of us and keeps the difficult feelings stuffed down. The wardrobe needs some airing out, some light and sunshine - and we don't even know it.

So where to begin? Following your intuition is probably the best advice. If you feel like you may need it - you probably need it. Healing can start with a simple choice to change your life, to invite new experiences in, have a desire to see new destinations, meet new people, have a different lifestyle, be more in control of your time and your life, or try something you always wanted to, but never had the courage or time to do. And perhaps after you've set that intention, healing will sneak up on you in the same way it snuck up on me. When it does, be ready to surrender to it.

In the words of Gabrielle Bernstein - 'trust in the healing path'.

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