Category Archives: Explorations

Healing: Admitting Curiosity

If you’ve ever been in prolonged physical pain and/or discomfort, you know how hard it can be to feel a connection to the non-physical (Spirit, God etc) from within that. How hard it can be to find that point of peace. The physical sensations are overwhelming. The mental and emotional weight is incredible.

plant paperToday I’m heartbroken that people I’ve recently met who are having this sort of experience have an added burden: they’re judged by others and by themselves in the name of energy and spirit.

People in pain – physical or emotional – are so often judged by western cultural programming on an all but unconscious/base belief level. Sick people did something to deserve it (they’re reaping what they’ve sown: bad things don’t happen to good people). It’s their own fault (they didn’t eat right, exercise, keep their mind in the Right Space). They should know better (they’re not as smart as we are, and get what they deserve).

Based on that deep cultural programming, our own anxieties about pain and illness can make us uncomfortable, influencing our choice of words, our demeanor, the energy we emanate. On a base level, unconscious or subconscious, people who are ill or in pain can be perceived as a threat to our peace of mind, a frightening reflection of our own vulnerability, a source of embarrassment for our own inadequacies in expressing compassion and curiosity. Sometimes we communicate those judgments without even realizing we’re doing it. The person in pain often picks up on it, though. 

The so-called New Age perspectives are often no better. Many of those messages are equally narrow and judgmental: you created the experience (you screwed up; there’s something wrong with you); you can heal yourself (so if you don’t you’re a failure).

These judgments are not useful. More than that, they aren’t true.

What if every single human experience is valid and valuable, whether it’s an experience of joy or one of pain and despair? I think it’s true: Every single human experience is valid and valuable.

Instead of judging someone by a set of beliefs about the way we think energy or the All That Is (God, Spirit, Allah, The Force, whatever) works, what if we admit that we don’t know it all?

What if instead of judgment – and let’s include diagnosis – what if instead of judgment and diagnosis, we apply curiosity? What if we assume that what someone else is experiencing is on behalf of all of existence no matter what the experience is, and from there consider that we might be being offered an opportunity to deepen and expand ourselves and our understanding of reality.

What if we each asked, “What is the terrible beauty of what they’re experiencing, and what is its gift?”

What if we asked ourselves, “What is this soul doing? I wonder what this person knows that I don’t know, going through this experience?”

What if we admired the daring of people experiencing no healing – of people who choose not to heal their physical bodies or emotional lives, of people who are seemingly “unable” to heal. What if we assume that their decisions, choices, experiences and even their attitude toward what they’re experiencing is right and valuable to their Whole Selves, and may be an act of service for others – for us?

What if we set aside all judgment and simply admire the fortitude that it takes a soul to even imagine exploring whatever it is they’re exploring? What if we set aside all judgment and simply surrender to our own pain at seeing them in pain, experiencing our own compassion?

What if we thank them?

What if we thanked individuals who are hurting, physically or emotionally, for providing us with the opportunity to release judgments and fears that we didn’t know we had or that we didn’t have the guts to call up out of the shadows on our own?

What if we thanked these people for giving us the invaluable opportunity to express and deepen our capacity for and expression of compassion, and co-passion?

We create our own reality has layers of meaning and truth … it’s so simple and can seem so complicated. What if sometimes creating our own reality means surrendering to the wisdom of a wholeness of self that sees beyond our present personality’s experience or understanding. Even when we see deeply, perhaps we ought to remain aware that seeing deeply may not mean seeing all, and that feeling connected to spirit and wisdom might not mean that there’s not more depth of connection and wisdom to gain.

We create our own reality isn’t an excuse or a justification for diagnosis and judgment, self righteousness and critical attacks – critical attacks against others or against ourselves. It’s not a demand to be perfect. We can be such deluded perfectionists … we can assume such a narrow, discriminating idea of perfection. Here’s what I suspect though, and try to remind myself must be true: perfection is infinite. Illness and dis-ease are included. Every single human experience is valid and valuable.

Healing rarely happens in an atmosphere of criticism and judgment – wielded against the self or others. Healing happens most often within acceptance, within moving into and through What Is.

And healing can take many forms. What if healing the physical body would rob someone of a more valuable form of healing? What if the definition of healing includes, for instance, finding the peace of surrender, of allowing?

My Aunt Ginger, who suffered from lupus for many, many years, had this to say: I think that the only real prayer is the prayer of acceptance.

By admitting curiosity through the door, into those places that we think we’ve got locked down as fact, perhaps another layer of understanding and wisdom gets revealed. Maybe we can heal people’s hearts by sharing a little love, respect, and acceptance, even if neither they nor we can’t heal their bodies. Maybe through grace and compassion we can be that little touch of the spirit in their lives at a time when they feel as if they can’t quite find it directly on their own.

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Check it out: Outrageous Undoing

Marian Lansky continues to post lovely light, clear essays that cut through the noise. If you haven’t yet, check out her blog Outrageous Undoing.

(Cheers, Marian 😉 )

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Monroe Institute Gateway Program in Chicago

A Monroe Institute Gateway Voyage program is being offered in Chicago by two of my favorite facilitators, Marinda and Bob. More information and registration info available here.

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Healing: the Effort of Holding on

When I was a child there was a time when I dreaded going to school. One particular day I woke and decided to pretend that I was sick. Sore throat, headache … a mother can’t prove that you don’t have a sore throat and a headache, not like faking the flu or something, eh?

So I played out the little charade with my mother, and she bought it. I laid in bed all day, so relieved not to have to be in school. What if I didn’t have to go tomorrow either?

My mother was in and out of my room, so all day I pretended that my throat was sore and my head hurt. I vividly imagined what that felt like, how I would act were it true. By the end of the day my throat became a little sore. By the next morning, I was sick.

This was a revelation to me. I could make myself sick! At that time in my life, it was a gift of magic – I kept myself sick for two weeks to avoid unpleasant things at school.

It didn’t occur to me until thirty years later that if I could make myself sick, it logically followed that I could make myself well.

When we’re sick, it’s easy to slip into the misery. We’re distracted by pain or discomfort, foggy-headed, fixated on the symptoms: how does this feel; is it worse; will it get worse; how do I fix this? We run through remedies in our minds: drugs, surgery, time. We believe that it takes ten days for a cold to run its course. We believe some malady requires certain drugs to cure.

If we believe it, how can it be otherwise? In believing, we have created.

Our human minds are stubborn in holding onto those materialist beliefs of cause and effect, even if we’ve experienced something that reveals them to be a fiction. But we can re-train our minds. We have that choice.

The most effortless state of a body is health.

Think about that for a moment. The most effortless state of a body is health.

DSC_0009I had to vividly imagine my sore throat to create it, then I had to maintain that mind. After two weeks of that, I knew I had to let that go and face school. You can’t have a sore throat and fever forever. I decided to be well. I let go of the sickness and released the reason for it. I consciously chose to do that.

I let go. I returned to no-effort.

Where do we get in the way of that effortless health? In our minds. We hold onto fear, we resist, we criticize ourselves and our bodies. We believe misinterpretations of reality instead of  noticing and trusting our own experiences.

If we begin to remind ourselves – as often as necessary – that health is the natural and effortless state of the body, my experience tells me that we will begin to heal ourselves.

Each person is different … take the drugs, have the surgery, lie on the couch with a cold for ten days … an overnight transformation is unlikely. I start at the very simple beginning, an awareness. “Oh look, I still believe this drug will help me. That’s okay for now … I’m becoming aware that the natural state of my body is health, and that the state is effortless. I’ll just relax into that thought, infuse myself with ease for a few moments or a few minutes as if that were real.”

Perhaps within that relaxed moment I’ll find the value that I placed on being sick or uncomfortable. I’ll find the way that I thought that would protect me or serve me. And then I can begin to mentally let that go. To release the tension, the effort that it took to hold that belief in place.

Each day is an exploration, an adventure in experience. We have the choice to allow that experience to begin to return to its natural state: effortless.

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Dr. Bell NDE: Self Healing in This World

This is an interesting account of a man’s NDE and his subsequent conscious healing of his body:
Dr Bell’s story

If you don’t want to read all the how-I-was-injured etc, skip down to the “My Subconscious Clinic” heading and read down from there. Some useful, applicable information that anyone can use.

(Thanks for sending me this link, Anne.)

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Spot on Healing: Outrageous Undoing

A friend has blogged a post that addresses the core of self-healing that is well worth reading. In fact, all her posts on Outrageous Undoing are gems … check out Marian’s insight here:

What is Real Healing and How Do I Get Me Some.

Nice, Marian!

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Healing from the heart: link

A friend of a friend posted an interesting short video interview with Kerry Keegan on a near-death experience and healing

Check it out on Allyson’s blog: Shanti Pax.

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Thoughts on Difficulties, Challenges & Perfection

A pervasive misunderstanding says that when someone becomes “enlightened” they cease to have problems and challenges in their lives. Related to this, when we have problems or challenges that we struggle with, we criticize ourselves or are disappointed and feel defeated … This isn’t supposed to happen to me! There must be something wrong with me … or What am I missing? … or Why am I not happy? … or When will I ever get there (inner peace)?

2013-02-map-basrah-300Everyone has challenges and difficulties, whether considered to be an “enlightened” person or not. The quality or state of mind with which you view the challenge and difficulty is, in my opinion, what differentiates “enlightenment” from the “normal” mindset.

I put the word “enlightened” in quotation marks because I dislike the word. It implies that this person is in the light, and that person is not; this person is wise and wonderful, and that person is not. In fact every single person on earth is “in the light” – is an essential and beautiful part of the Universe, God, Source, Allah, Jehovah, All That Is, Goddess, whatever name you want to use. We can’t be otherwise. You cannot lose that no matter what you do or experience. And we all have the wisdom within us, it’s just a matter of learning to access and accept that, which is in large part (or totally) learning to love and accept ourselves exactly as we are at any given moment. We all have that capacity, too. We each have the capacity to know ourselves, and to answer our own best questions, step by step.

So I’m going to switch from using the word “enlightened” to using the phrase “inner peace.”

Challenges and difficulties … if we think of them as problems, why do we think that? What beliefs are supporting that self-criticism, that self-judgment, that subtle violence against ourselves and our experience? What expectations did we have that make us judge this experience as “wrong” or “imperfect”? What if we used the word “adventure” instead of “problem.” What would that imply? How might that change our experience?

Emotions are not changed without changing the perspective (thought, belief) that gave birth to the emotion. If you want to stop being unhappy, look at what beliefs or thoughts support that that emotion.

The people that we judge as at peace (inner peace) only use a different perspective to look at challenges and difficulties. They don’t avoid them, they don’t resist them, and they don’t NOT have them. They practice a different perspective. They might say, “Here is a difficulty. I may not want to experience this, but here it is so I’ll try to find or create value in it. Who I am is not defined by this difficulty. I am a whole and complete, perfect being having a difficult experience. How will I handle this?”

They may not always be able to do this, but they try. They practice it.

They have released self-judgment, and set aside expectations. Their idea of their own perfection (affection and compassion for, and forgiveness of themselves) is not dependent upon not being human or upon not having human experiences. They understand that their perfection is never diminished by difficulties or challenges (- or by experiencing anger, frustration, envy, disgust, etc). They understand and accept that there will be moments when they’ll shine, and moments when they’ll feel they’ve fallen short, acted from what looks and feels like less than perfect inner peace. They understand that even that is perfect. That the expression of themselves through this human experience in this physical world is not always going to be some ideal version of perfect, yet it is always perfect just as it is.

An inner peace comes with accepting yourself whether you live up to your own expectations or not … or better yet, letting go of expectations. It comes with liking yourself no matter what experience you’re having. And that inner peace is a practice.

Very few people have one overwhelmingly transformative experience, an instant of profound enlightenment … and people who have that sort of profound experience still have to practice what they’ve learned.

Practice: 1. the actual application or use of an idea, belief, or method as opposed to theories about such application or use. 2. repeated exercise in or performance of an activity or skill so as to acquire or maintain proficiency in it.

Sound bytes and inspirational sayings and advice from religions, philosophies, dogmas or theories can be useful reminders, but just sucking up all the wise advice one can find is not going to change one’s life. Trying to be who we think we should be is unlikely to bring us inner peace – it may just cause us to criticize ourselves and judge ourselves all the more. Transformation and change and ease comes with making the core precepts (which are based first on accepting yourself) your own through practice. Application. Experience. That will change your life, your mind, and ultimately your experience.

No one lives a perfect life free of challenges and difficulties, but if we begin to take a little quiet time to ponder our own experiences, to apply these ideas to our own thoughts, expectations, and to our language, we may find that we begin to become acquainted with ourselves in a new way. And as we do that, we may find affection and compassion and even amusement for ourselves. And as we do that we may find that forgiving and understanding ourselves is easier. And then we’ll find moments of inner peace and within that, some answers.

The beliefs that support judgments of experiences as good or bad are not true. Every experience has value. When that idea is applied, practiced, there is the possibility of quietly and privately recognizing our own divinity, our own perfection (joy, happiness) even when we’re in the midst of difficulties and challenges. We’re all perfect even when we’re acting fucked up.

Happiness: accepting our own perfection – and accepting even our inability to always express that perfection within our human experience. Accepting that we may not always feel happy, and being okay with that.

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Another Way to Explore: Regression

Bob Olson of afterlifetv has posted an interview with Nancy Canning on his afterlifetv website. If you’re curious about ways to gain insight and information without nearly dying to do it (!), you might find this interview interesting…

Check out Nancy Canning on afterlifetv

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Why or How, Which Is The Question?

A number of clients lately have been asking me the same question: “Why is this happening (to me)” The implication or follow up questions suggest the assumption that if one can figure out why something is happening, one can then stop it or turn it in a different direction.

A more valuable question is often, “How do I best handle this?”

It’s easy to get tangled up in psychobabble and left-brain analyzing when hunting for a “why.” It’s possible to create more difficulties and confusion than one started with due to the tendency to pick oneself apart, criticize, judge and doubt.

Sometimes when I dig for a “why,” I end up sinking myself in the past, in events or interactions or relationships, hunting a solution. But they’re past. They require no solution, or letting go may be the solution, or the solution lies in a new choice of action or reaction now.

When I say to myself, “It is what it is; how do I best handle this?” I’m offering myself a choice: do I act or react in the way I might usually act or react, or is there another choice. There may be a choice that leaves me feeling better about myself, or an option that feels right even if it seems to run counter to logic. If I sit with the question for awhile, I may find that I’d like to do X but fear the outcome. This gives me a chance to practice following my inner knowing, letting go of the outcome, allowing myself to trust myself. Trust myself to experiment, learn through experience, even to fuck up … the experience will still be valuable even if it turns out not to have been the best choice. I’d have tried. Or not – maybe I go ahead and do the not-scary thing this time while I begin to let go of that particular fear by practicing on decisions and choices that seem small and less scary for awhile, building my confidence and honing my skill with this new way of expression or interaction.

If a “best” choice isn’t clear, why worry? Make a choice and let go of the outcome. Consider it an experiment. Pay attention to what happens inside and out, then next time you’ll have a little more information to go on. Because there is no end, it’s all good even if it doesn’t look so from this physical world point of view. Pat yourself on the back for living, exploring, experimenting consciously and with attention.

Often the “why” is answered in experiencing the “how.”

That’s my reminder to myself today.

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