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20 May 2011 2 Comments

Subtle Energy, Trauma & Transformation Part 3: World Energy Cocktail Meets Personal Experience

Subtle Energy, Trauma & Transformation Part 3: World Energy Cocktail Meets Personal Experience

The same energies that are actively altering our physical and societal world are of inestimable use for transformation and awakening.

Energies that stimulate profound change can cause restlessness and exhaustion. Alterations to our personal energy require energy to adjust to and assimilate.

As we explored in Part 1 & 2, we are not immune to the energies that change the planet.

Energies that cause radical change make us want to change too. We are less willing to tolerate situations—in the world and in our personal lives—that go against what we feel is right. We may be less likely than usual to tolerate restrictive or annoying circumstances.

When specific types of energy are prevalent, we tend to drum up a feasible story in order to make sense of our experience. As an energy worker I observe that when certain types of energy are around-and-about at a planetary level, a large percentage of clients show up distressed about related emotions and sensations. When fiery energies are taking place clients come in angry and frustrated–and find a “reason” in their lives to explain.

Sometimes we simply search through our experience for a supposed “reason” to make sense of what we are experiencing. Other times the ambient energies add fuel to the fire of what we already have burning.

Anxiety is usually easy to find “reason” for. Spacey energies may be more challenging to explain away, unless someone has been missing out on sleep. Knowing “what is going on”—even if the explanation does not acknowledge the primary cause—is easier for most of us to deal with the great unknown. Consider the way superstitions have seemed safer than the fearful void of having no idea WHY.

Carolyn Myss describes trauma as “A trauma is something that has happened to you that your reason cannot understand.”

“Our myths are being dismantled.” This trauma calls us into transformation.

Carolyn goes on to observe that “Spiritual Awakening is a trauma.”

I have been discussing these formulations with clients and friends, who find them enlightening. In this blog series I expand on these useful observations, extending them into the context of “subtle” energy. (I used quotes because some of the energy these days is not so subtle.)

The first step is . . . backward.

Step back and notice the connection between the world situation and your personal experience. While obvious if we really think about it, most of us initially do not connect the dots between World and Self when we feel out of whack. Personal and Universal are customarily viewed as opposite categories. Culturally, we rarely link them. Even the fact that these polar experiences are becoming mixed together in our experience carries an element of trauma. It’s a breakdown of an old worldview.

Questioning faith goes along with the territory in the process of transformation. Alterations to core beliefs is almost always somewhat traumatic, particularly when loved ones cannot support changes we are called forth to integrate into new life expressions.

A clear-sighted and intuitive friend said, “I feel that old ways are dissolving around me.”

An energy-sensitive client describes her experience: “It’s like being pulled out of one world into another and all the rules change—and you have to figure them out. You don’t know what they are until you bump into them.”

You have to figure basic things out instead of simply living into them as we do with established structures and habits. This takes focus and energy. At the same time your ability to focus may be compromised by odd shifts and changes, and alterations in the ways we perceive guidance. Part of the trauma is not knowing how—or whether–to respond at a practical level.

Radical change takes energy. Your energy fields, meridians, and subtle energy structures take time to accommodate and assimilate these changes. The vast majority of people who walk through my office door have been unaccountably exhausted. The effort of trying to understand the incomprehensible can be draining.

I think it is safe to say that the majority of people on the planet are having some serious concerns at this point, whether it is about rising water levels, water pollution, banking, housing, employment, war, or planning ahead. We are becoming aware of our vulnerabilities collectively. This is reflected in our personal experience.

In Part 4 we’ll explore specifics about global change and energy-sensitive or intuitive people.

What are YOU learning about yourself and the world during this time of change?
What do you feel is important for you to create, achieve or release in your life while you have a chance?

8 April 2011 4 Comments

Full-Spectrum Forgiveness, Part 11: Social Appearances & Inner Wounds, Part 1

Full-Spectrum Forgiveness, Part 11: Social Appearances & Inner Wounds, Part 1

Day-to-day social life can convey the impression that there is something wrong with us when we hurt inside. Understanding why enhances forgiveness and healing. The next three posts explore social impediments to emotional health, and support integrating self-awareness with life in the world.

P1040454Remember that social life is our external life. Emotional health is balance between our internal and external lives. Society sees to it that we learn social norms. Instruction and modeling for our internal lives is sadly uncommon.

Social personas or images seem to work in the outer world but often retard or prevent inner healing. Those who do not process their wounds often hold an attitude of superiority toward those who are in pain. There is nothing superior in being out of touch. Despite posturing and pretense, lack of compassion and insight is not social or moral high ground.

AVOIDING wounds strains social life and creates a need for pretense. HAVING wounds is not necessarily a problem. How we MANAGE them often is. Noticing wounds with the intent to HEAL them is healthy. Once we have healed our wounds we become infinitely more socially functional—authentically. No pretense necessary.

Motivation to heal is less likely to be strong in people skilled at social adaptations. Is this good or bad? That depends whether you want to stay in adaptations or heal deeply and become fully authentic. In some ways being unable to hide wounds can be an advantage over being able to bury them so well you can get by without working on them.

We get socially conditioned to shut down the feelings that others are uncomfortable feeling themselves. We get social messages to turn away from our wounds. The only necessary change is to be careful to discuss the wounds only with persons who have developed compassion already, can make a caring response. If we talk about them with someone who cannot manage or see their own wounds they must reject us in exactly the same way they reject that part of themselves. They cannot do otherwise.

Awareness of wounds indicates being healthier, not more messed up. Those who appear really together without processing their wounds have just as many problems. They are simply less apparent—until they do something obvious. How many times do we hear about someone in a public office or position of service, or religious power like a priest, whose wounds overwhelm his or her ability to stay balanced in the role of public service or sanctity?

Here are some of the societal reasons why we get the impression there is something wrong with us when we are wounded:

  • People ask, “What is wrong?” instead of “Can I do anything for you.”
  • Our pain scares people who are not able to embrace their own.
  • We live in a culture who “medicates” with drugs, alcohol, and diversions instead of bonding in ways that connect and involve people in healthy ways
  • We may have been scolded when we cried or had a tantrum
  • People who do not know how to express compassion pull away when we express our pain
  • We send people to professionals to deal with “their problems” instead of supporting them appropriately before this becomes necessary

In the movie “The King’s Speech,” Bertie was imprisoned in his royal persona. He lacked the positive vulnerability (see post #7 in this series) essential to effective therapy. He wanted the speech therapist to fix his problem on the surface, without approaching its causes. The therapist was blocked from access to Bertie’s inner world of feeling.

Bertie lived in the emotional isolation common when worldly roles are of greater importance than personal feeling. He was unable to fulfill his role of King until he confronted his depths by allowing his therapist, Lionel, into his inner world. Through the mirror of both therapy and genuine friendshipP1040293 Bertie learned to allow his inner life its central place in his own world. Then he could be King.

Social life may require images from time to time. Authenticity does not require full and complete disclosure at all times or with all people. We pick and choose appropriate expression for this moment. I am suggesting that the motivation for what we pick can be based on comprehensive values, not unconscious compulsions or social conditioning.

Social life, in balance, is our exterior life. Its healthy function does not take the place of your inner life or cripple your personal life. The horror movie in which the mask becomes stuck on someone’s face depicts this malady. In real life this issue is more of a problem the less we are aware that it is occurring. Wounds wake us up to our humanity, needs, personal emotions, goals, dreams, and capacity for genuine intimacy.

How is YOUR balance between your social life and your inner life?
Does one take over the other, or can you move back and forth between them with ease?
What makes this balance easier or more difficult?

3 May 2010 0 Comments

Success Secret: Working the Up Side

One adjustment to your approach can bring your health, your Inner Work and your life expression into full blossom. This adjustment is what I call “Working the Up Side.” This principle applies across the board, from physical, structural, and nutritional health through life direction and business success.

TreePeonyWt2Many of us tend to cancel appointments for care or support then we begin to feel better. Working the Up Side means taking on our challenging issues when we are feeling good. When we first begin to feel better the iceberg of distress has retreated just beneath the water line. This does not mean it has been resolved. It may surface again with a bit of stress. When we stop doing what is working too soon we not only invite a relapse but miss the opportunity to:

  • Resolve underlying issues, not just surface expressions
  • Use our previous distress to full, positive advantage
  • Address difficulties from a position of strength, resource, and creativity
  • Eliminate the need to get symptoms or distress again
  • Optimize and improve instead of simply maintaining
  • Move into new and exciting territory by building on gains and successes

When it comes to developing positive energy, consistent practice over time actuallyTreePeonyWt transforms us. Paying attention to our needs and processes only when we feel drained or distressed keeps us stuck at the level where we require problems to motivate us. Working the Up Side means making a study of what works. We become motivated more by pleasure and less by pain.

When you begin to feel better, pay special attention to what you did that worked. Exactly how did you feel before? What helped? Be specific.

How did support or an intervention change the way you relate with others? How did your sensations and emotions shift? Does your breath sit differently in your body? How have your energy levels and flows changed?

Super-aware presence during times of improvement help to stabilize your changes.

At what point do YOU set aside the support that makes you feel better? What do you tell yourself about it?

30 March 2010 0 Comments

Symptoms As Positive

Symptoms As Positive

I love symptoms. Why? Because they are direct guidance from the body.

Symptoms tell us where to dig to identify the exact issue to address to support health and personal growth.

Symptoms are doorways to deeper self-awareness.

You may well ask, Do we have to be sick to grow? Heavens no. The more intimate we become with subtle variations in sensation, emotion, expression, and motivation, the less we depend on symptoms to let us know. Meanwhile, they serve us.

Avoid falling into the perfection trap of thinking that being symptom-free makes one somehow better than those who have symptoms. I have never seen anyone without symptoms. I have only seen people who were not able to identify any themselves.

Having known many at close range, I have observed that even the most advanced spiritual teachers, doctors, and healers have symptoms. Our symptoms may relate to excessive sensitivity to energy, compassion unbalanced by detachment, or issues taken on from clients or followers, accidentally, or in a spirit of sacrifice.

As long as we have bodies to learn with we will have symptoms to learn from.

Symptoms, intense feelings, or inner experiences do not mean that something is “wrong.” Wrong means it should not be there; that it is bad. Symptoms are information.

Fern SpiralSymptoms can be cleansing, awakening, balancing, or deepening. They reflect to us and help us to own parts of ourselves we have been cut off from, so we can become whole.

Distress is a guideline. Distress, carefully heeded, can keep us from developing unnecessary symptoms.

Ellen Hayakawa (author and spiritual leader) and I were discussing the modern trend toward believing that being positive means not having unpleasant feelings. Ellen laughed hard and said, “How do they think we can be so positive!? It’s because we go deeply into our suffering and do our inner work! The reason we HAVE positive energy is because we do all our work on the shadow/sh*t side of things.”

Life is a full spectrum deal. Being positive is not about fearing and avoiding feelings. Shutting off parts of ourselves is not a positive process, but speaks to the kind of defense against life that fragments us in the first place.

It is positive to use any discomfort we feel to learn to address our real needs. Self-knowledge and openness to life free us to feel authentic joy, love, and peace.

Symptoms invite us to look at how we care for ourselves, what we feel inside, and how we manage our energy. They serve us in owning our whole, radiant selves through thick and thin.

Has a symptom improved your life by giving you the chance to discover things about who you are and what you need?

Please share your story in the comment box.

15 December 2009 2 Comments

Healthful (“Healthy”) Holiday Treats

Healthful (“Healthy”) Holiday Treats

Are you eating things you don’t want in your body “because” it’s the holidays?

FlyingGirlDuring the holiday season a high percentage of my clients, especially those with allergies, express frustration about getting caught in the “sugar traps” lurking at the office, gifts they cannot eat, or time spent making preparing foods that literally make them ill. When these clients have checked in with friends and relatives, many have been surprised to discover that the people they were trying to please by cooking or receiving these treats also preferred healthy choices. They too were doing what they felt was expected.

When we feel great joyfulness follows. Feeling sluggish, heavy, or burdened by food does little to promote real holiday cheer.

Check in with your loved ones. They may be pleased to support you in feeling good, creating new traditions that leave you feeling your best through the dark days of the year when nutrition makes even more of a difference.

Here are some strategies to bring about healthful holidays:

  • Bring healthful snacks to parties or the office to make sure you have something you can enjoy.
  • Identify and buy healthful foods you like BETTER than the sugar traps so you do not feel deprived.
  • Pay close attention to whether the pleasure of eating a food is worth the results of eating it.
  • Eat slowly with full attention to prolong pleasure instead of spacing out and eating twice as much in the same amount of time without noticing it.
  • Ask for support with holiday eating ahead of the holidays.
  • Let your loved ones know you feel cared about when they support your real needs.
  • Let people know what works for you BEFORE they give you something you’d rather not eat.
  • Provide simple alternatives within their comfort zone by talking candidly and finding out what they enjoy too.
  • Switch to healthful food gifts to others.

Festive choices with excellent food value:

  • Quality sheep and goat cheeses (digest much better than cow)
  • Smoked salmon
  • Sushi
  • Spiced nuts (easy to make with real maple syrup instead of sugar)
  • Dried cranberries (preferably juice sweetened)
  • Dried cherries
  • Big, soft dates stuffed with raw walnuts or almonds, and maybe a tiny sliver of crystallized ginger (these make wonderful gifts)
  • Pomegranates (jewel-like and lovely)
  • Persimmons (look like ornaments!)
  • Clementines (those soft, tiny oranges)
  • Hot ginger tea with Stevia or honey and lemon

What are YOUR favorite healthful holiday foods? Please share ideas and gluten-free recipes!


18 November 2009 6 Comments

Oil Pull Promotes Health

Oil Pull Promotes Health

Ever wake up with a bad taste in your mouth?

The Oil Pull is a simple and inexpensive practice that can improve your health buy reducing toxicity. Reducing toxicity almost always increases and improves your energy. Here’s how you pull oil:

Swish up to a tablespoon of oil–depending on the size of your mouth–for ten to twenty minutes. Swish it around through your teeth too. Spit out the oil and rinse your mouth or brush your teeth. Use good quality, raw oil. Sesame, virgin coconut, and sunflower are usually recommended. I use and like Biotics’ Mixed EFAs.

I like to do the Oil Pull while I’m checking email. SpiralTable

Oil pulling is said to cure a wide range of diseases and conditions. Some people develop detox reactions when they do it, feeling worse at first and later much better. Reaction shows that the practice is powerful.

Pulling Oil feels good. Whether or not Oil Pulling is a panacea, it is a natural way to remove toxins. This makes it a wise idea, particularly if you get an unpleasant taste in your mouth, swollen tonsils, bleeding gums, or have old fillings leaching metals and bacteria into your body.

Most health issues are related to toxicity, so Oil Pulling may be beneficial. It provides cumulative benefits with repetition. I have read a number of accounts from people who claim that the Oil Pull has cured serious diseases. While I cannot give you statistics, the following advantages make sense.

Pulling oil helps:

  • Absorb toxins from gums, teeth, and tongue so you don’t swallow them
  • Help draw off oil-soluble stains from teeth, whitening them
  • Strengthen your gums
  • Reduce heart risks associated with gum disease
  • Stimulate the metabolism through the nerve-to-brain response that occurs when a substance is in your mouth

Why is doing the Oil Pull better than simply brushing your teeth?

  • Oil penetrates into the fatty surfaces of your gums and cells
  • Feeds and strengthens tissues
  • Stays in your mouth long enough to draw out toxins
  • Seeps in to hard to reach places

I used to have chronic tonsil inflammation. This quit being an issue since I began pulling oil. My teeth feel stronger and cleaner.

Try it out for yourself, and let us know what you experience!

4 November 2009 0 Comments

Freeing the Heart Through the Body

Freeing the Heart Through the Body

Freeing the heart—physically–can help free your heart in the metaphorical sense.

A regular body therapy client came in with jaw, neck and shoulder muscles unusually tense. He seemed subdued, his voice too quiet. When I asked how he was doing his mood was fine. I knew from his muscle tension pattern that he’d been up to something like over-lifting. I asked a series of questions to find out. “I can’t think of anything,” he said.

Ten minutes later he remembered lifting eighty pounds and carrying it up some steps. I stopped what I was doing, aware of his chest. It did not respond normally to massage. Somehow I could see that his pericardium—the sack around his heart—was bound up in his chest.

Freeing Heart LilyI’m not sure how I see this kind of thing but I do. I had to untwist his rib and sternum muscles before I could address his pericardium. The moment it released his chest relaxed. His breathing and the way his chest and back moved when I pressed on him were totally different.

Several interesting things happened. His voice changed. It was brighter and livelier. He suddenly started talking more, with greater animation. And his memory got better. He now remembered moving huge suitcases. Circulation from heart to brain had improved.

My client said he felt a lot better, more open through his chest, but hadn’t noticed it was a problem until I corrected it. I hear this often.

We easily become habituated to sensation so we don’t notice it. Layers of twisted and stuck-together tissue limit movement, sensation, feeling and expression. This is a huge factor in the experience of AGING. We get bound up inside ourselves.

Tissue restriction can put a strain on organs. When bone, muscle, ligaments that hold organs in place, and the linings of organs cannot move freely this structural tension restricts the flow of blood, nerve, lymph, and energy. Numerous medical conditions can be prevented by skilled structural work.

Culturally, we think of structure, movement, and emotion as separate functions. The body is not burdened by the notion that we are parts and pieces. All of it works as one. Structural restriction impacts every kind of function. When we are free and flexible in our bodies feeling heart-centered and emotionally warm comes more naturally. Freeing the physical heart frees the emotional heart too.

What have you noticed about the way body therapies change the way you express yourself?