This is a time of year I often evaluate aspects of my life. Some do it at Gregorian New Year; others in the Spring…to me, the fall is the best time, the time of the Autumnal New Year. I can look at what I’ve “harvested” over the past few months; evaluate what I want to tuck away for the winter (Don’t chuckle; though I live in the Sonoran Desert, we DO get winter. Or what passes for winter, here, anyway)
Another reason to evaluate in the fall is that it’s a tradition for part of my family. Although I wasn’t raised with this holiday; some of my family members celebrate the Jewish New Year; and I observe my own version of Yom Kippur in a September. I think the fact that I was not brought up in that particular religion makes me more able, objectively, to appreciate some of the ceremonies it has. I have a lot of religious baggage from the religious upbringing I did have; and am still reconciling myself with what was passed to me as truth.
Some random things I’m looking to let go of:
Hair! I’m sure I won’t really do this; but my hair has been bugging me lately. I’m sorely tempted to shave it all off. I’ve always been “into” my hair; it’s sort of long for who I am, and it gets into everything. During the long hot summer we’ve been having here, it’s particularly annoying. I know the more obvious solution is to just cut it short! But I can’t! That would be so un-me. I’d rather just cut it all off, if I’m going to change it…but then I’m afraid I’ll look like an melon or, worse, TweedleDum! (TweedleDee wouldn’t be as bad!) So, I’ll probably, as I usually do, just let it grow another inch while I ponder…
Papers! Seriously, is there any reason to keep old bills around any more? They are all accessible and stored online from every institution. I act as if I’m about to be subject to a tax audit of the last 78 years (!) and I’ll be one of those people that rolls in 24 carts of materials to be examined. In looking to clean out and simplify certain aspects of my life; both out of desire and necessity, I’m gingerly going through these old records and shredding away! I hope I feel better afterward.
People! Do you ever see people as baggage? Is that a rude thing to ask? Some of the people who have been in my life don’t quite fit anymore, while others are changing roles or adding to them. This is natural evolution in most cases; but we humans tend to hold on even as we evolve, sometimes. I’ve heard it said that if a relationship isn’t serving you, let it go! Much like you would and old vacuum cleaner that blows dusty air out instead of sucks it in. Some of my relationships are work-related, and I’ve noticed that, in most cases, when the working relationship ends, very often the personal one does too. Most of them need the glue of the common interest and activity to hold them together. There are exceptions, of course. It’s perfectly possible—and I have done—to find a long-term friend in these circumstances, but as I look back, I realize that, out of all the people I felt were extremely important in my day-to-day existence, only a handful have stayed in touch with me, or I with them. I am more guilty of this than most, I think. If someone calls, months after a project, and wants to have lunch, I’ll think “Why?” I may go ahead and have the lunch, but in these cases I’ll feel tongue-tied and awkward, and say things like “So, how’s your life been since we finished producing that art project 1000 balloons as Representative of Modern Angst?”
Thoughts! Here are things—and I have heard it said many times that “thoughts are things”–that are a bit harder to deal with, even more so than people. People will eventually go away if I ignore them long enough (I know I sound unsociable, and I sort of am!, but I only do that with people I want to go away), but thoughts! what can one do about thoughts? Really, for me anyway, there are only two ways to clear up the unwanted kind. One is to replace them with better-feeling thoughts, and make some new memories. After some practice, these will become my thoughts. It doesn’t do a lot of good to dwell on the unpleasant ones without some form of relief. This can be anything from vigorous exercise to energy techniques, but best for me is to imagine the kinds of thoughts I’d like to have!—Not to sound too Pollyanna-ish…
English! By this I specifically mean the English language used in sacred choral music. A lot of people in the western world play in orchestras or sing in choruses. I have done both for many years. In the “classical” tradition (misnamed, but that’s another post) most—by no means all, but most—of the vocal music consists of interpretations of western Christian liturgy. Many people can just sing those right along for years, regardless of their background or beliefs. In one of the choral groups I work with, there are a surprising number of spiritual persuasions and non-persuasions. I will confess that, for me, it is increasingly difficult to repeat phrases that have no place in my belief system. I could just continue to “suck it up” as I have been doing for years. After all, choral directors and coaches often tell us that part of our “job” singing this music is to be actors, to “sell” it. I do see this as important if accepting a role in a play (and I WAS a missionary, for the Save-A-Soul Mission, in the musical Guys and Dolls–ironic, huh?) but, there are a variety of roles in plays, whereas in traditional western classical music, there is mostly this adulterated religious expression. When these works are sung in Latin or German or French, I at least get some distance from them, even though I still know what every word says. I can more easily step into a “role” if I’m not using the language I speak and think in.
Ideas! You’d think this would have been covered in “Thoughts”, above, but ideas are different from thoughts. An idea is: “Hey maybe I’ll become a circus clown! That’s just what I’ve been needing to spice up my life!” or, “I’ve noticed that when I go into rooms painted Chartreuse I feel peppier! I think I’m going to paint my whole house Chartreuse!” (I never said “ideas” were necessarily “good” or “helpful”.) They are Proclamations rather than mere Thoughts. All of us have probably thought of a product or two from time to time that *does* seem to be a good idea. Some of them languish away on the back burner, while others are brought to the forefront. So I’m ready to let go of the not-as-good ones.
Fix-it Projects! My house seems to need a lot of work at the moment, some of which I can do myself, some not; some of which costs a fair amount of money, and some not. Everything from replacing the carpets to fixing the leak in the garage seems to need doing. The kitchen could use some work. The bathrooms scare me a little. But how to prioritize? Should I do the things that cost the least and that I can do myself first? Or should I make a list of things from most to least urgent and work my way down as best I can? I’m a bit unmotivated and disheartened, but if I want to leave this house for greener pastures, these things must be done. Even if I don’t…I deserve a nice place to live, don’t I? I’ve just thought of a third way to do my list, which brings me finally to…
Lists! I have a love/hate relationship with lists. When I travel, I obsess about them. I put everything I want to pack on a list, from underwear to nail clippers. After all, I’m traveling all the way to…California!, a primitive land where I’m sure they don’t have things like toothpaste, should I forget it, nor could I possibly borrow it from my native Californian sister, whom I will visit–backwards creature that she is! She probably scrubs her teeth with backyard sand! …And then there’s the other kind of list: “Things To Do”. I like to make these lists, but I rarely do what’s on them. My streak of rebelliousness comes out when I’m told to do something, even when I’m the one telling. I don’t really want to “Do” anything. I do often do things, but I’d rather just “Be”. Perhaps I should make a “To Be” list! Yes! I’ll put that on my list of things To Do.Read Full Post | Make a Comment ( 6 so far )
One of the reasons I stopped being actively involved in a spiritual organization some years ago was because of the emphasis on helping people. Yes, you read that right. You many ask “Isn’t that what we’re supposed to do? When we see suffering in the word, aren’t we meant to help alleviate it?”
I believe this as much as most people do. I had a role as a compassionate listener. I was supposed to “know the truth” for the person, to know that in spite of how things looked, and despite the tale they just told me of suffering and woe, all was really perfect.
The thing is, I do believe this. The perfection part. What I’ve come to understand, at least for myself, is that the perfection is not “in spite of” their troubles, it is along with them. My stance now is that people have difficulties (myself included) because of a block in their energy somewhere along the way. It could have been caused by something that happened this morning, or 30 years ago, but it really doesn’t matter “when”. It doesn’t even matter “why”. What matters is that I, or a person that has consulted me,is feeling held back in some way from all they sense they could be. And our job, together, is to release the energy from the block as quickly as possible, which has the effect of allowing the opposite circumstance—something that IS wanted—to flow into the space where the block had been.
This has several advantages. It doesn’t require therapy, counseling, reliving past trauma, or prayer, all of which I have found slow-going over the years, and frankly, kind of boring after a while.
I know I have “entertained” sympathetic friends in the past by telling them why I am the way I am. “If only” I’d say, “my mother had done ‘X’ instead of ‘Y’, it would have been so much easier for me to do ‘Z’. ‘They’ hurt me, therefore how would you expect me to be fully functional?”
I think that the majority of us have had some mistreatment at one time or another. And, granted, for some it was truly horrible, whereas for others not as much. Factored in must be our own personalities and coping skills—some people bounce back relatively well from severe trauma, where others can be devastated by what looks to an outside observer a small event. I believe it is best not to judge others by their reactions to things. As the saying goes, we do not know their path, neither have we walked in their shoes. All I can do as a facilitator, or a friend (including to myself) is to recognize what wants to be changed, and be thankful that I know some techniques that usually quickly and efficiently allow us to let go of the unwanted residual energy. My favorite technique is described here, but there are others I use and that other people have found. I no more want to give a method; a technique, the status of “guru” than I do a person.
It is my opinion that if someone repeats the same story about how awful it was and how they got “done to” over and over—even if it was really awful, perhaps particularly if that’s true—they end up spending more time in all that unpleasantness rather than moving forward. There are some recent psychological studies that indicate that dwelling on past trauma in effect re-traumatizes the client, when there is no method provided to release the emotional block. **
We love to tell our stories. We love to have, or provide, a sympathetic ear. I no longer see it as my job, though, to “counsel” people, either professionally or personally, as a friend. In the work that I do in this area, I will listen, compassionately—for a while. Maybe ten minutes if the person is new to all this. Then I gently ask, “Would you like to feel better?” —”Yes, but I haven’t told you all the details, ramifications, and consequences yet!” —”I know, but I’ve already heard three things we can work on right now, in order to help to release that-which-is-unwanted and bring more joy into our lives. How about we a couple of things, and then we can talk more…”
Usually, that works. But it’s not so much about the client’s issues (actually these days, I only facilitate groups, I don’t see individual clients), but to cut through all the story and get right to feeling better. This fits my philosophy as a pragmatic relativist. The “pragmatic” part means I want results, quickly, here on the earth plane. The “relativist” means that i also have my head in the clouds, wondering about the meaning of it all—most enjoyable.
For me, “counseling” people doesn’t work any more, for my own peace of mind. If someone wants that, there are people to go to other than me, and I have a referral list at the ready. For me, again, “counseling” implies there is something wrong, needing to be fixed. Whatever my ideals, or spiritual beliefs are telling me, it is difficult for me not to want to make things better or nicer for another person, when in “counseling” mode. Not my job.
When I first learned about Buddhism, I heard a story that, I admit, shocked me at the time: “A disciple comes to the Buddha and asks ‘Master, how do I become enlightened?’ The Buddha replies, ‘None of your business!”"
What? What kind of answer was that, from someone known for compassion? What do you think he meant? I’m certainly no expert at interpreting Buddhist teachings, but after I got over my initial shock at the answer, I learned that life is not about “attaining enlightenment”, or anything else, as a goal. This would be looking to a rather self-aggrandizing future that may or may not happen. Everyday enlightenment comes upon us gradually by letting go of hurt and disillusionment, and embracing joy. One day, whether it be in a dramatic flash of insight, or just quietly, noticeably, we’ll realize we are enlightened, if that is our path. But to strive or reach for it, or want it to the exclusion of living in the now will put it further and further out of reach.
Therefore, I no longer try to make things “nice” for people. I do not inquire into their motives. None of my business. I do try to live as authentically as I can, because by this, when I’m connected to my all-ness, and live from there, I will be of most use to the world.
Namasté; Peace; Salaam; Shalom.
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* I really do care how you are. ♥ Beingness is the most important thing about you, and I do like hearing about your day, and the events in your life–fun, or not as much. The title is just intended to make a point.
**Articles cited here are not presented as conclusive or comprehensive, just as examples of an ongoing discussion.
We tend to believe that the word “healing” means “recovery” from illness or injury. This need not be the case. I’ve been led, lately, to contemplate our concept of healing. As far as I can tell, the common, default view is: either one is sick, or one is well. If one is sick (or injured) the goal is to get as well as one can as soon as possible. In most cases, I would agree that this is the most desirable outcome. But, I would not be quick to dismiss illness merely as “something to be got over” without looking at its greater ramifications.
I had been used to posting here, in my beloved blog, several times a week. Lately, this has not been the case, and I regret I have lost some companionship because of that. I started this year by falling *splat* on my face, whilst crossing the street to fetch the mail. (Not from skiing in Aspen, as I would have preferred to tell people.) I am still, seven weeks later, recovering from those injuries. My poor right knee will never be the same. It has turned funny colors, and mocks me when I bathe. I’m not sure how I’ll react to “shorts season” this summer; I’m not much for shorts anyway, though.
Then, about two weeks ago, I contracted a nasty bit of stomach flu, (NOT the dreaded virus you hear about in the news, and I’m not contagious on the blog here, so you can keep reading!) one symptom of which allowed me to become nauseous just LOOKING at the computer monitor—much as I felt while watching Avatar in 3-D. Hmmm.
My first reaction, when having experiences such as this, is to ask what their message is for me. For instance, with the fall, I examined the street I’d crossed hundreds of times before, and found no new ruts or unusual bumps. My question: How, or to what, am I not paying attention? With the flu-ish-thingy, I asked “What am I holding onto that really ought to be expelled?” (This could be physical things, ideas, or even people!) The questions, and the answers will be different for each of us, and, for me, will come before or after meditation.
During all the healing involved I’ve managed to slow down. Really. How many times have we heard that “illness is signal that the body and spirit need some rest” or some such phrase? I’m learning more and more to listen to the wisdom of that. Generally, I spend more time in front of the computer monitor than with any other object, even loved ones (or the mirror) and feeling worse when looking at the screen has been rather disconcerting.
On the other hand, when I have “gone online” recently (Where do I really go when I go online?) I’ve made judicious use of my time, and I’ve had some wonderful, serendipitous and even startling experiences. (Report coming up in the next post!) I’d learned some time ago not to “fight” illness. I don’t want to fight anything, really. During the past couple of weeks, I’ve spent hours reading books instead of typing here or visiting virtual worlds. And found, once again, that spending time reading, in my favorite chair by the window with the view of the mountains, helped me along in a way that mere “information” could not.
On the other hand (How many hands do I have at this point?) I’m obtaining the idea, from some of that reading, that what we are, really, is information itself. Our bodies are simply receptors for that information. What do you think of that?
It is very tempting, particularly amongst the people I spend time with, to either “feel sorry” for someone who is ill, or, conversely “blame” them, because if they were aligned properly with their creative source, the illness would not happen. I used to sort of believe that last, and perhaps still do, a little, but I’ve become more able to look for the “gift” in any situation, even when not immediately apparent. There are reasons the body does what it does, and they all go back to decisions we make along the way. None of us set out to “get” an illness, or injury, but if we can look upon such events as situations rather than annoyances, we might be able to get through them easier.
Next time: Serendipitous Synchronistic Random Excitement!
(image from University of Canberra)Read Full Post | Make a Comment ( 10 so far )
I must have uttered this phrase four or five times during the last group session I facilitated. There were so many things our clients wanted to “blame”! Well, we worked on those things, and then I went home, and confronted myself. I would never ask someone to take a position I wouldn’t embrace. If I don’t “practice what I preach”, I have no integrity. I do think it’s OK to not act integrally, it’s just not where I currently want to be.
So, back to confronting myself about my own stuff: What does this post title mean, anyway? It’s a philosophical position, for one thing, but also a principle of theoretical physics. I don’t know that science defines philosophy or behavior, but, the more I study these things, the more I can’t tell them apart; truly.
Here’s a quote to get us going:
We know now in physics, since *Heisenberg, that the classical ideal of scientific objectivity can no longer be maintained. Scientific research involves the observer as a participator and this involves the consciousness of the human observer. Hence, there are no objective properties of nature, independent of the human observer. …scientists are now not only intellectually responsible for their research but also morally responsible. —Fritjof Capra
So, if there is something not optimum in our lives, here is whose fault it’s not:
The Government; Our Parents; Lack of Education; Too much Education; Our Gender, Race, Sexual Orientation; Our Physical Disability; Our Neighbor with the Barking Dog; Our Unpleasant Teacher in the Third Grade. You get the idea.
The objection I most often hear to this position goes something like this: “But, that sounds like you are blaming the victim! That’s not fair! No one asks to get cancer, or be mugged, or get into a car crash! This is a mean, elitist, pompous philosophy, with no compassion for people’s real problems!!!”
At one point in my conscious eruption, I felt the need to “explain” when people said things like this. I’d say, “No one is saying anyone ‘asks’ for things that cause them pain. The illness or condition arises out of years of hypnotic programming by a society that thinks matter is causal, rather than consciousness. There is no blame involved, only acknowledgement of the amazing journey ones path has been, so far, and the realization that one can change it once one learns one can, and has the right tools.”
I went on like this for quite a while, because I believed that a questioner had a right to a logical explanation. Also, there was a part of me hoping to convince them my position was the right one—an emotional need which does not honor my actual belief.
Now, I realize that the person addressing me may simply be on a different journey. There is no need for them to embrace my particular truth, as helpful as it has been for me. The fact that they are there, in my life in some capacity, questioning my reality, does say that the questioning is part of the process for them and for me. We both have something to learn from the interaction.
Of course, this restriction doesn’t apply in the groups I facilitate. Those attending know perfectly well the principles on which the group operates; they can choose to attend, or not, and if they do attend, they are most likely willing to at least explore the possibilities of shifting their realities in directions they like better. Given the phone calls and reports we receive, participants lives are getting better—or they think they are, and either way, it’s OK with me!
I read an exercise which illustrates this, and which I’ve done, now. It asks us to list one or two or three things that have happened in our lives which were very difficult at the time. These could involve health issues, loss of relationship, or physical or emotional hardship. It then directs us to find at least three positive outcomes from those issues, and list them. It suggests that we would not be the person we are today, if those things had not happened.
Sometimes we have an ongoing issue, like a chronic illness, which seems to have outgrown its usefulness. Our bodies are dense—in both senses of the word—and often take a considerable time to “catch up” to where we are mentally, or, more accurately, in consciousness. In this case, energy techniques like EFT can help tremendously. We need something to shift the energy out of old patterns of behaviour and expectation.
So, arriving home after facilitating just such a session of energy techniques (and benefitting myself, quite a lot, as well!) I find myself wanting to be very careful to put the “blame” for any condition I continue to experience, positively or negatively, squarely where it belongs: on that splendid person looking back at me from the mirror!
*Werner Heisenberg, theoretical physicist, proposed a “field of potential” in developing the Uncertainty Principle in modern physics.Read Full Post | Make a Comment ( 6 so far )
Ten minutes of self-treatment can do more than years of drugs or therapy. Please notice I said “can” and not “will”. There are no guarantees here, but so far, I’m impressed. Today’s post is a continuation of one I began yesterday about the Energy Psychology conference I attended recently. That one started to get very long, and I had other topics to address.
Energy Psychology uses points on the body known as “Meridians” determined thousands of years ago by practitioners of Traditional Chinese Medicine, and also called “Acupuncture Points”. We don’t use needles, or any invasive procedures, but rather teach people to address their own energy system. Some practitioners use traditional (eastern) Indian practices (Yoga and Ayurveda) as well, which also have energy centers (chakras) as part of their system.
For myself, any time I have a pattern of behavior that isn’t serving me, or any time I’m not feeling well for any reason, I can use these techniques to feel better, or engage behaviors which better serve me. I have transformed relationships with some of my family members, both living and deceased. The work with people who have passed on is particularly moving. It’s our memories and encoded emotions about the people which continue to cause hurt, even after the person has gone, and these practices can allow the stuck energy around them to go. We still retain the memories, they just don’t hurt. As for physical issues, practitioners make no claims to cure everything, or anything, but the phrase “try it on everything” applies. Many, many people (myself among them) have gotten tremendous physical relief for a variety of conditions after releasing the “stuck energy” from their bodies.
A question I’m sometimes asked, (and I’ll warn you in advance that I don’t have a good answer for this,) is “If these methods have been around in China and India for thousands of years, why aren’t all the people in those countries walking around in perfect health and bliss?” This is an excellent question. I can only surmise that all peoples and countries go through eras and trends. These ancient methods are not currently very “trendy” even in their home countries at the moment, and historically there have always been people that seek power which undermines the helpfulness of subtle energy medicine. This is not a good answer, and I’m planning more research into the social history involved.
Having said all that, I am aware of many people who are using these techniques now, and getting real results. There are lots of offshoots of the original discovery in this field, Thought Field Therapy (TFT) developed by Dr. Roger Callahan. The story of its discovery and development is fascinating, and can be read here if you’re interested. My favorite technique remains the same, even after learning wonderful new ones at the conference. EFT (Emotional Freedom Techniques) is a simplified protocol derived from TFT, as its developer found that it worked just as well—and took less time—to treat all the major acupuncture points, without the diagnosis and specific treatments necessary in TFT.
There are a lot of refinements one can learn about EFT, but, bottom line, it simply involves tapping with two fingers along a series of points on the body. Any of us can learn to do this ourselves, and if we keep the issue we’re treating in mind by using a few key phrases, we can release the flow of energy which had been blocked. This often results in tremendous freedom and healing.
At the conference I learned several methods which look like a string of initials: AIT, BSFF, EMDR, TAB, TAT. (If you’re interested, you can “Google” any of those acronyms along with he word “energy”!) Two of the techniques are very gentle, and I’ve found them helpful for things like insomnia (when “tapping” might be too stimulating while trying to fall asleep), and for headache, migraines, or upper body pain (when we wouldn’t want to aggravate the pain by tapping on already sore areas).
“Touch and Breathe“, or TAB, teaches us how to gently hold the areas of meridian points while using a deep breathing technique which relaxes the body while encouraging the flow. The developers of TAB encourage specific treatment points for specific conditions, but I find it effective if I just use all my usual EFT points. I sometimes have bouts of insomnia, and I’ve been known to fall asleep with my fingers still on my upper lip, for instance, as I actually nod off during the treatment. I like the book The Energy of Belief very much, as it brings another perspective into these therapies (which I agree with), that we are more than just our bodies, and we can treat the “information systems” which exist beyond the body, too. Both authors were presenters at the conference, and I found them persons of integrity who “walk their talk”.
Another new system I learned is called the ZPoint process. It works directly with the belief system, where all misdirections of energy start. I find it really helpful for healing relationships; taking the “emotional charge” out of sadness, betrayal, or emotional abuse. I learned this from the developer, again at the conference (it was SUCH an opportunity to meet these people ), and his particular mission is to develop tools to allow us to feel at peace, virtually all the time, no matter what is going on around us. Sounds good to me! He had a very peaceful, calming presence during his presentation, and I wanted to have that, too. We practiced the process, choosing a colleague to bring to mind that we’d like to have a more peaceful relationship with. (Can you think of anyone like that in your life? ) I can honestly say I left the room feeling more peaceful, forgiving, and friendly towards the person I chose than I had in months. I was very relaxed, too.
So, my basic toolkit starts with EFT. (I’ve posted this before, but I still think this nice 7-minute video from its founder gives a great overview, and has some cool graphics, too!) But, while I use EFT for most things, it’s wonderful to have techniques that approach the energy field from a little different angle to give some dimension to the practice. Anyway, I’ve never wanted to be just a one-trick pony. Peace; Salaam; Shalom.Read Full Post | Make a Comment ( 24 so far )
Here are some notes about the annual Energy Psychology conference I attended recently. That title is a bit of a misnomer. The organization which sponsored the conference is called The Association for Comprehensive Energy Psychology, or ACEP. “Energy Psychology” is term coined by Dr. Fred Gallo, one of the conference presenters. But, equally, it was about Energy Medicine (from Donna Eden and David Feinstein, another of the conference presenters). The emphasis of the practice of Energy Psychology is often on psychological issues such as stress (it’s had great success with Post Traumatic Stress Disorder, or PTSD, for instance); phobias; and things like stage fright and performance issues. But, it is equally effective for physical trauma, disease and chronic conditions. In fact, Gary Craig, the founder of my favorite system did a series of studies on “EFT for Serious Diseases”, and he reported on some of those developments at the conference.
Ah, Gary Craig, developer of Emotional Freedom Techniques (EFT) the method I most often practice! The man is a walking, breathing, living legend, but is so down-to-earth and real, one feels one is just talking to a neighbor. For those of us who’ve taken extensive video-based training with him, it’s like meeting an old friend—who may never have met us. He’s spent hundreds of hours in my home (on video) and he is exactly the same person whether being filmed for a documentary, presenting to a room full of psychologists and doctors, or wandering around the conference center chatting with us casually. Very fun and inspiring.
There were morning and evening lectures for the whole conference of more than 400 participants; and many breakout sessions to choose from, which went into more detail about specific methods. It was inspiring to be with so many fellow energy practitioners from all over the world, particularly as this is a new and emerging field of treatment. At lunch I shared at table with a student from Norway and a tribal chief from Nigeria. This man had been fully trained in several of the methods and was eager to take them back to his country. One presenter from Korea demonstrated how energy methods could be integrated with the traditional medicine of that country.
A couple of questions always come up when I discuss this sort of work. The first is: “If this energy stuff is so great, how come everyone isn’t using it?” —More and more people are using it. It seems to me that since the discovery of germs and penicillin in the West, not to mention the large pharmaceutical investment in healing technologies, that we have not been open to the more natural methods. Also, the concept of having an “energy body” doesn’t really fly with a lot of Western societies, as evidence had, for so long been anecdotal. Many of our grandparents had their favorite folk remedies, but we didn’t really give much attention to why things get “stuck” in our bodies to begin with. I’m here to tell you that there is more and more research and results of research emerging. It’s an exciting time to be in this field.
The basic premise of the energy methods is that trauma, or residue from illness, becomes “coded” into our cellular structure. A strong emotion or physical trauma can put it there. Once there, it can cause all sorts of problems from mild anxiety to life-threatening illness. Drugs and surgery can treat the symptoms, but do not address how the condition got there to begin with.
Surprisingly, Energy Medicine doesn’t necessarily “care” how the condition first got stuck in the cells. It believes, to use Gary Craig’s phrase: “The cause of all negative emotion is a disruption in the body’s energy system.” (“Negative Emotion” includes “Unwanted Physical Conditions.”) The key to relief is getting the energy to flow past and through these blocks, and in addition to talking about and getting clear on which issues need to be addressed, most techniques use some method of redirecting energy flow through the meridian system of the body.
In the course of writing this post I discovered that I’d like to talk about the specifics of Energy Medicine, how I use it, and why I think it works. All of that would make this really long, so I’ll post about those things tomorrow. In the meantime I’ll say that the most exciting part of the conference for me was learning that more and more scientific research is being done in these fields, and that results of the research show consisitency and demonstaratable clinical effects. Devices can now locate meridian points in the body, register when flows are blocked, and again when energy is flowing again. Brain scans show differences before and after treatment. Statistical measurement tools gather data. All of this is tremendously helpful in establishing credibitly with the scientific community, and verifies what many of us have experienced.
A couple of personal disclaimers: I don’t need empirical science to prove things. I know when I feel better, and clients tell me when they do—that’s good enough for me. On the other hand, I’m not a “true believer” in these or any other methods. I use them because I enjoy them, I get results, and that brings me and others more joy. I’m not about to be an cheerleader or evangelist for anything, as I have a predominant belief that we attract to us the tools that fit our experience of the moment. I don’t so much say that “it” works, whatever the “it” of the moment may be; rather that “we” work, and, amazing humans that we are, we find new and amazing aids to improve our adventures. Peace, health and happiness to you!
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Tomorrow: My two favorite new tools I got to take home, and why I “think” they work.
I am here, in an area not unlike where I come from. The temperatures are a good 10-12 degrees cooler (4-5 C), and the mountains are beautiful. I do like my mountains. I’m at a conference on energy medicine and psychology, and so far it’s been great.
One thought-provoking thing I’ve learned is that “there’s no good purpose in letting someone live rent-free in your head” OK. So how do I get them out? I’m learning that, too. I’ll tell you when I get back in a few days.
I’m taking notes for some good posts! Hope they live up to my expectations (and yours!) Cheers, see you soon!Read Full Post | Make a Comment ( 7 so far )
I’m very pragmatic in how I approach my everyday life. I wouldn’t use something as odd and unconventional as EFT if it wasn’t useful. This 8-minute video is a short introduction to the method and contains some results on “blood clumping” before and after treatment is applied.
EFT Introductory Video and FREE information!Read Full Post | Make a Comment ( 2 so far )
I co-facilitated an energy therapy workshop this weekend, and I’m once again blown away by some of the things this EFT (Emotional Freedom Techniques—see “Health or EFT” topic) can accomplish. I know I sound like a “true believer” here, but, just take a look at what happened with one participant:
This person presented a compelling, persistent addiction to a certain well known and much consumed soft drink. And not just the general sort of this drink, but a specific brand. The person stated this drink’s positive aspects were energy and well-being, due to the caffeine and sugar involved. The downside? Jitters, unwanted weight gain, and a general conviction that “This isn’t good for me”.
Fortuitously, there was a soft drink machine nearby, and we purchased a can of the drink in question to work with. After a bit of chat to identify the issues, the participant was encouraged to take a sip. “Pretty good”. Then, after a few rounds of EFT “tapping”, another sip was encouraged.
“Really?”, the client asked. “Have as much as you want, I said.”
Mmmmm, big sip. “Wait, I feel all this energy. I feel kind of tingly. And, what?…
“It doesn’t taste like anything!”
“What do you mean?”
“It’s just like drinking soda water, or something. No taste!”
Well, as we went on with the session, the participant just couldn’t get the original taste of the soda back. The person didn’t care for the taste anymore, and therefore, the presented “addiction” was no longer relevant.
I’ve seen this happen over and over while watching clinical training videos, but this was my first dramatic in-person experience of this phenomenon. This result is widely reported for addictions to soda, chocolate, cigarettes, and other substances. Will this client ever crave the particular soda again? Maybe, but perhaps not. And even if the person does, the client now has a tool to address the issue before the dreaded soda is imbibed, and can choose to use it. Even if the craving does persist–and again, many times it does not–with repeated treatment it will likely fade in a short time.
Watching this sort of thing happen in someone’s (and my own) life is like watching real magic, even though there IS a scientific bases for the results. It’s just one of the most gratifying things I do!Read Full Post | Make a Comment ( 4 so far )
Once again, a reader has left a comment, and asked a question which caused me to think, and really evaluate my position. I feel so fortunate to have such thoughtful–and thought provoking–readers who really want to engage with the ideas we’re exploring. By the time I had answered RubyShooZ‘s question, I had enough for a new post, so here it goes:
The issue of “blame” comes up a lot in relation to such teachings as found in the movie and book The Secret, or those found in certain New Thought or New Age philosophies. While I appreciate the movie The Secret, I’m not fully in tune with ALL of its teachers, or the fact that the title implies that these teachings are a mystery which has only recently been discovered.
I’m in no way endorsing or trying to sell a philosophy here. In fact, if one doesn’t like the notion of creating ones own reality, I would support that person in *not* embracing this belief. I think beliefs, methods, tools, and philosophies are only valuable if they help us to reach a better-feeling place.
As far as blame goes, I know how easy it is to interpret these teachings as if it is my “fault” if I get sick, or don’t have enough money, or have bad relationships, or whatever. Just as I would not “blame” anyone for being in the World Trade Center on September 11, 2001, I would not blame anyone for any unwanted condition in their lives. In fact, I think that’s where a lot of the confusion comes in. If we “attract” something, or “create” something, it often sounds as if we “want” that thing. That’s not necessarily the case. Most people don’t go around “wanting” poverty, or bad relationships, or illness–if they do, they have a whole other set of issues.
I’m including a link to a set of videos by Bob Doyle, one of the “Secret” teachers I do enjoy. I want to point out that I’m not endorsing Mr. Doyle per se, in fact, I’m not a member of his program, although I’m considering joining, as I do like the way he presents information. (And, he uses my favorite energy therapy, EFT ). The second video in the set is about 8 minutes long, and specifically addresses the question of blame.
I personally find the belief that I “create my own reality” tremendously liberating. It puts into context things I’ve been diagnosed with, or relationships and situations I’ve had, as well as giving me tools for the present and future.
However another one of my beliefs is that I can choose which beliefs to have. Sometimes I choose scientific validation as the basis for my beliefs, and sometimes intuitive understanding. Sometimes, a combination of both.
So, to any who are kind enough to read this, please know that I, and other off-beat seekers like me don’t blame anyone for any condition they find less than optimal. I just want to go from here, and use tools and find ways that enable me and you to feel even better than we already do. Shalom.Read Full Post | Make a Comment ( 5 so far )
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