Read an Excerpt
Awakening a Women's Inner Knowing for self-Healing
By Meredith L. Young-Sowers
New World LibraryCopyright © 2007 Meredith L. Young-Sowers
All rights reserved.
Giving Ourself the Best Advice
All living entities and all energy fields understand the frequency of love, and activating this frequency is one of the greatest treasures we can possess. – Mikio Sankey, PhD, LA
Healing is both an art and a science. In our Western model it is easy to focus exclusively on the science of healing — the treatments, practices, medicines, surgeries, radiations, and chemotherapies. These are important, but not exclusively important. The essential companion to the science of healing is the art of healing, which, as it suggests, is more focused on our creative, intuitive, psychological, emotional, and spiritual selves.
Thousands of years before Christ, the early Taoists, who were healers, were also mystics and philosophers. They believed that to heal the body one needed to rebalance one's life. A person needed to be in harmony with Heaven and Earth — in other words, to renew one's sense of a spiritual connection and rediscover one's true destiny to find the optimum way of living in one's physical environment. They believed that the rebalancing process allowed the body to right itself, thus enhancing the flows of energy that support the physical organs and systems.
As we focus on the art of healing, we become aware of the subtle energy shifts that can support our ability to heal ourself from the inside out — from our spirit to our body. Just as a wound must heal from the inside out, our lasting healing arises first from what is invisible to our physical eye.
It is sometimes difficult to believe that the invisible world has as much power for healing as the visible one, but the evidence surrounds us every day. We can't see electricity, for example, but we see the result when we turn on the light. We can't see protons, electrons, or neutrons with the naked eye, but we see the physical desk in front of us. We can't see love, but we feel it.
What we can't see is often even more powerful than what we can see. Just because we can't see attitudes, beliefs, emotions, assumptions, and assertions does not mean they aren't acting on us — just that we're not yet aware of their impact.
Healing requires us to enter a meaningful self-discovery and rebalancing process, one in which we discover many influences we haven't been aware of before. This learning will add new, positive components to our life and our healing journey.
The essential thing to remember as we begin is that this process of self-discovery is not meant to make us feel bad, about either what we've done or what we didn't know up to now. Life is a journey, and at any point in our life, we can only remind ourself of the truth: I did the best I could, given what I knew and understood at that time.
BLAME HAS NO PLACE IN HEALING
It is extremely important that we take a moment to reflect on blame and how it puts us at a disadvantage in our healing. We want the best for ourself, and so we can begin right here, right now, by promising to give ourself only the best advice. Healing has nothing to do with blaming, but with taking responsibility for our life and finding the ways that we can grow in understanding and wisdom.
There is no one right way to live, to feel, or to heal. Each of us finds our own way by being as true as possible to the best of who we are and what we know about ourself. Rebalancing our life and body is not about identifying what we've failed to do in the past; it's about recognizing what is available to us in each moment.
Opening ourself to wisdom, learning, and insight is central to healing. As human beings we always do our best to provide comfort and happiness for ourself and those we love. We all want to avoid suffering and enjoy happiness. But as we learn more about life, we make different choices.
The choices we made at fifteen are probably not the ones we would make now. The same is true about the ideas and feelings we experienced with such passion at age twenty that may not be the same ones that are important to us now. We change and renew our thoughts and emotions just as our cells and organs renew themselves. We must learn about and understand the invisible world of feelings and spirit — the art of healing — as well as the visible world of treatments and procedures — the science of healing — so that we can combine them and benefit from the best of both worlds. The art and the science of healing are like two halves of an apple — both are essential to create the whole.
How can I keep from blaming myself or others for being sick physically, being scared about what has happened or what might happen again, or being simply out of sync with my life and the people in it?
What can I do to help myself when I find myself in that place of self-blame?
And yet, even knowing this, it can still be easy to fall into blaming ourself or others. We can't help but say, if only. How can we counter the unwanted and continual tirade that goes around and around in our head?
The answer is that we must become more selective about which of our thoughts we listen to. It is like choosing a healthier diet for our body, only we are choosing healthier thoughts and feelings. Do we listen to regret, blame, shame, and criticism, or do we listen to comfort, friendship, caring, and loving? This is our continual choice, which, though we may not have stopped to realize it, is always posed by our two inner voices — the inner critic and the inner healer or spirit.
Later in Spirit Heals, we'll explore further the ways we process our thinking; right now, it is enough to begin our healing journey by simply becoming more aware of our assessments, judgments, and assumptions and the feelings that they generate. We'll need to pay close attention to even recognize some of them because, almost by definition, our assumptions are those thoughts we rarely stop to reflect on, but which still solidify in our body and our life. For example, I may assume that my partner will never understand my needs, or that he will always understand my needs. These types of absolute positions are dangerous, for they don't give me or my partner space to move.
Imagine we took a jar, and as we recognize our various positions, opinions, assumptions, and judgments, we place them inside. We don't need to argue with the attitudes we observe, we just pick them up — one at a time — and put them in the jar and put the lid back on. Put the jar on a shelf out of immediate sight. We can come back to them when and if we choose.
By setting aside our upsetting and negative feelings, we find space to breath, giving ourself wiggle room to reconsider our life and how we want to spend our precious energy. If we don't, if we instead hold on to old reasoning and assumptions about the possibilities or lack of possibilities for our healing, we will always be looking backward. Imagine driving down a road, stopping your car, getting out, and studying only the road you've just traveled.
The art of healing begins by being open to the present moment and looking forward to where we want to be. Looking back at our life doesn't tell us what the road ahead will be like. Even if we feel we have been lost up to now, that doesn't mean we won't still find our destination. The questions we need to ask ourself are: What destination do we have in mind when we step on the gas? And are we willing to do whatever it takes to get there?
How we respond to the events and circumstances in our life right now sets the course and determines the destination toward which we are heading. Actions speak louder than words — but the words we tell ourself can have a real say in whether we reach that destination. They can generate or diminish the healing energy we need to restore our body, mind, and spirit.
If we want more from life, a greater quality of life, we must consider those various aspects of healing that move us toward greater awareness and inner knowing. When we operate from inside our deep heart and spirit, when we make decisions from our core of wisdom and compassion, we move successfully out into the various relationships in our life. When we do this, the difference in the outcome can be astonishing.
When clients ask me whether I think they will heal and overcome what is dragging them down, I tell them the truth of what my experience has shown me: when we allow today to be as meaningful as possible and fill it with a positive, hopeful, and loving perspective, then we are much more likely to have a tomorrow, and it is more likely to also be good and healing.
FINDING WHAT WE LOVE NOURISHES US
In addition to putting aside blame, we need to do what nourishes us and gives us the courage to believe in our life, our inner knowing, our assessment of circumstances, and our willingness to change our mind and our heart. Healing is all about nourishment.
Nourishment is essential to our emotional, intellectual, physical, social, and spiritual lives. Each person is nourished in various ways that are also individually satisfying. One person may seek emotional nourishment by planting a row of pansies in the spring and social nourishment by browsing a boutique. Reading a travel book on touring the French countryside may fill one person with delight and intellectual nourishment, while another finds the same by studying the mechanisms of a German race car. Praying quietly in the back of a great cathedral may be spiritual nourishment for one person, while chanting in a group may be essential for another.
It isn't so much what nourishes us, rather that we may appreciate that many kinds of nourishment are essential for a good life. Think of the search for nourishment as "finding what we love," because in doing what we love, we feel valuable and valued and create a self-generating sense of inner delight and warmth. Finding and following the threads of our life through the various veins of nourishment are requirements for a meaningful life and thus for healing.
We will continue to explore the various ways we nourish ourself in the rest of part 1. Before continuing, however, I'd like you to begin by doing the following practice, which is easy and very rewarding. It is called the Healing Art of Loving Touch.
The Healing Art of Loving Touch
As you follow the practice of placing one or both hands over the center of your chest — that is, over your heart center or fourth chakra — you are nourishing every level of your being. You are disconnecting from your thinking and reconnecting to your inner knowing, the quality of intuitive awareness that opens doorways to useful guidance and understanding. This practice also speaks directly to your physical heart's health, supports your immune system, and energizes your ability and desire to circulate the positive and loving feelings of healing through your life and the lives of others.
1. Place your hands, palms against your chest, in the center area of your chest.
2. Close your eyes, or otherwise soften your gaze, and shift your awareness from thinking to knowing, which is a product of your intuitive perception and comes from deep heart or spirit.
3. Feel the energy in your hands, the warmth of connectedness to your physical heart, your emotional heart, and your deep heart or spirit.
4. Take several slow breaths and focus on feeling connected to Spirit. As you hold your hands in this position, you are regenerating your energy, your spiritual will, and your love and compassion for yourself and others. You are charging your battery from God's.
5. Ask to be guided, helped, or supported in whatever way seems most appropriate.
6. When you are finished, open your eyes, and after giving yourself several moments, return to whatever you were doing.
This practice is like mother's chicken soup, a hug from the person you care most about, and a love letter from God — all rolled into one. It works as physical, emotional, and spiritual support, reminding us of what is really important.
1. There is both a science of healing and an art of healing, and both are available to me.
2. I now recognize that blame, my own and that of others, is unproductive and has no place in my healing journey.
3. I can choose the thoughts I listen to, whether they are positive or negative. Choosing the positive enhances my healing.
4. I can make my new way of knowing a reality by understanding that what I love nourishes me.CHAPTER 2
Emotional Nourishment — Expressing the New Season of Our Life
Be content with what you have; Rejoice in the way things are. When you realize there is nothing lacking, The whole world belongs to you. — Lao-Tzu
Feelings are an important part of the journey to wholeness as F we allow ourself to reframe our present circumstances toward more specific body, mind, and spirit nourishment. We express feelings through our words, whether we say them out loud or only in our mind. The words we choose are important because they bring back the memories and feelings associated with the events of our life. The more vivid the words or images we absorb, the greater the impact on our whole being — for good or ill.
The media, for example, is expert at painting pictures through their commentary and images that elicit powerful responses in us. These "high shock and impact" messages stay with us and resurface every time we repeat a tragic or upsetting story.
We experience similar "high shock and impact" messages every time we imagine or relive traumas in our own life, such as the feeling when we realized we had cancer, the loss of a mother or father, or a missed career opportunity. We may repeat these stories many times, and become accustomed to hearing ourself talk about what happened, but while the feeling of disaster and dread may lessen some, the pain remains and continues to register in our body.
We may think we have gotten used to hearing these high-energy negative, sad, or worrying feelings over and over, but our body has not. We feel words in our gut, in our heart — and these impacts influence our mood, our sense of safety and well-being, and our sense of being loved and of being worthy of love.
WORDS THAT INSPIRE, HEAL; WORDS THAT DIMINISH, DEBILITATE
Normal conversation tends to focus more on what is wrong than on what is mending, growing, and improving. This leads us to reflect more on the struggle than on the healing in our life. Feel in your body, for example, the difference between these two statements: What a stupid thing to do — can't you ever get it right? or Thank you for helping me with this.
Our feelings are powerful re-stimulators of our past experiences, but they can also be powerful stimulators of our progress, growth, development, and faith in ourself.
Emotional nourishment means making choices all through our day to hold steady to the awareness that tomorrow is being written as we speak. We are, in essence, expressing the new season of our life with each intention.
Whether we feel we're about to drop into the dark hole of anger and despair or we feel lifted into enjoyment and pleasure, both are calls to take a breath, put our hand over our heart — the place of spiritual connection and sustenance — and say to ourself, steady, steady, steady. Repeating this phrase allows us to stay in touch with what's going on inside, while also expressing our trust that there is a greater goodness always at work within us even when we can't see, prove, or understand it.
Excerpted from Spirit Heals by Meredith L. Young-Sowers. Copyright © 2007 Meredith L. Young-Sowers. Excerpted by permission of New World Library.
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