Spiritual Prescriptions for Turbulent Times
7 Paths to Lead You Quickly from Inner Turmoil to Inner Peace
By Cathy Thomas Leslie S. Evelo
Copyright © 2013 Cathy Thomas, LPCC, and Leslie S. Evelo, PhD
All right reserved.
Chapter One Transformation: A Change in Paradigm
One of Leslie's longtime clients called the other day in obvious distress. She had been awash in memories of her childhood abuse, repeating old patterns of self-destructive behavior, and feeling bewildered about where all of it was coming from. "I have everything I want, I'm doing work that I love, and I've been feeling happy and contented with my life—then, boom! All this stuff comes out of nowhere! I thought I was done with all of it! Why is this happening?" she cried.
Her story is not unlike others we have heard lately. People are experiencing emotional and spiritual challenges, including some they thought were long ago resolved. Childhood issues, past trauma, relationship conflicts, job stress ... it's all coming up at once, out of the blue. It's like being on a roller coaster, only you can't see the climbs and drops until you're on top of them.
You may be reading this book because you've been feeling the same sort of things in your life—anxious, depressed, or both at once. You're not alone. A lot of us are feeling overwhelmed.
So where to start? In this chapter, we'll talk about what these times mean for us; how to open to transformation; specific alternative therapies, including medical intuitives, psychic interpretation, and energy healers; and how these "out-of-the-box" therapies offer a new paradigm for healing.
One of the things we find most helpful during these turbulent times is understanding that the turmoil and upheaval you're experiencing is supposed to be happening. You are exactly where you are supposed to be right now. You are going through all of this because you are an important part of the magnificent changes occurring in the world.
Sages and spiritual teachers around the world foretold long ago of this time, when humanity would reach this period of global upheaval. They predicted that the turbulence would result in a great transformation for the earth and for humanity. Some religious and spiritual traditions have understood this to mean a time of judgment and destruction, while others have foreseen liberation from all suffering.
Present-day teachers and healers say that we are going through something akin to childbirth, wherein the labor pain of our current struggles will birth a new era of peace, vibrant health, communion with the Divine, and connection with the earth and with all life.
Then what are we supposed to do with all of this turmoil? Well, it is a bit like infection rising to the top of a wound or a boil. The turmoil, like the white cells of an infection, is rising to the surface so that it can be cleansed from our wounded lives. We have to rid ourselves of all the negativity that weighs us down before we can ascend to the new, higher level of existence that will be the new era.
You have probably noticed that the earth, too, is purging herself of negativity. Earthquakes, floods, wildfires, tsunamis, tornadoes ... our earth is clearing the damage that humanity has caused through reckless depletion and contamination of her natural resources. She is reminding us that she, too, is a living organism that must be nurtured in order for her—and us—to survive. The earth is restoring herself in preparation to live in harmony and connection with us and with all life that she supports.
You may doubt that you have a place in all this. You may be feeling scared, powerless, and a bit uneasy with all this "woo-woo" stuff. You may also be wondering if we are crazy!
Fair enough. However, if you are willing to keep an open mind as you read this book, we will help you to understand your vital role in this global transformation. We will share with you the healing techniques that will empower you to free yourself of the negativity in your life. And we will help you discover the wisdom and power that is already within you. Your inner wisdom and power will enable you to create the life that you truly want to live.
You were meant to be here, right here, right now. Your most important job is to heal yourself. We want to help you do that. And as you heal yourself, you also heal the world.
Transformation: A Change in Paradigm
Transformation occurs in life when you encounter situations that broaden your awareness or deepen your understanding. A major life event can shake you to your core, turn your world upside down in such a way that you are forever changed. Or something small and seemingly insignificant can shift your perception and cause you to see the world differently. Transformation can be uncomfortable or even painful, or it can be liberating and joyful. In all cases, transformation is a powerful catalyst for growth.
In the book Living Deeply: The Art and Science of Transformation in Everyday Life, Marilyn Mandala Schlitz and her colleagues explore the subject of transformation in depth. They write:
Not all transformative paths start with a dramatic peak experience, but most begin with some kind of noetic experience or deeply felt, unshakable internal realization. This shift can be triggered by something as subtle as reading a book that discusses an idea new to you or by something as dramatic as a near-death experience or a sudden awareness of a physical or perceptual phenomenon that is completely unexplainable in your current belief system. Typically, these moments are characterized by recognition of some undeniable truth that flies in the face of—or puts the lie to—some fundamental belief you've held, possibly without even knowing it. (p. 203)
Several years ago, Cathy had an experience like this. She was ill with a fever that would not go away. It stuck with her for over eight months, and no one in the medical world was able to find the cause or stop the fever. At the urging of a friend, she sought the aid of Dr. David Dammert, a chiropractic healer who offers non-traditional treatments for physical and emotional issues. Cathy was quite skeptical, and doubted his ability to help her. Much to her surprise, however, her symptoms disappeared after only one treatment session, and they did not return.
Dr. Dammert used chiropractic kinesiology, a diagnostic technique that employs muscle testing. We will explore muscle testing in another chapter; for now, suffice it to say that Cathy knew nothing about this or any of the energy techniques that he utilized. But despite her initial skepticism, she felt a deep, inner knowing that she was healed. This was a transformational experience for Cathy, because if this healing was real, then many things she had previously believed could not be true.
Our limited human minds do not readily accept things that defy logic. Instead, we tend to dismiss them as misperceptions, coincidences, or random accidents. But if we suspend our disbelief, even for a moment, we are able to discern within us a deeper and more profound wisdom. It was this wisdom that allowed Cathy to know that she was healed, despite her rational mind telling her that it could not be true. She stuck with her intuition to trust Dr. Dammert's healing methods, and it proved to be a wise decision. She even convinced several of her friends, including Leslie, to see him, and they have achieved positive results as well.
You have your own internal wisdom. It's there when you get a "gut" feeling that you should or should not do something, or when you get a sense that something is true even though it does not seem possible. Interestingly, your gut feeling, or intuition, is a more reliable source of knowledge than your rational mind. If you think about this, you will undoubtedly recognize at least one instance in which your gut told you to do or to not do something, while your rational mind tried to talk you out of what your gut was telling you. Which one turned out to be correct?
There are so many situations in life that require us to challenge our limited, logical thinking. Traditional forms of treatment, such as Western medicine and "talk" therapy, are problem focused and designed to treat symptoms rather than causes. They rely upon objective, scientific data that are measurable and observable.
Eastern medicine and non-traditional forms of healing, however, focus on the causes of our maladies and problems, and look to the whole person—body, mind, and spirit—to determine appropriate treatment. Many of these healing methods use principles of energy within the body and mind, and derive their benefits from correcting or re-directing the flow of energy within and around someone in order to heal them.
Our work with Dave Dammert taught both of us about the profound connections between our physical bodies, our emotions, our minds, and our spirit. It challenged our long-held beliefs about illness and healing. We, like you, had not been taught to view the mind and body as a single system, and did not yet know that imbalance in one part of the system could cause problems in the other. But what we learned was that when mind and body are aligned, physical and mental health naturally emerge.
Traditional healing methods allow us to be passive recipients of externally derived "fixes." We take a pill and wait for it to cure us, or we get a vaccination and expect it to prevent illness. We are not required to do anything to help ourselves, other than to swallow the pills or take the shots. Non-traditional, mind/body/spirit forms of healing require us to take responsibility for at least part of our treatment and healing. We will talk much more about this in another chapter.
But the biggest thing that true healing requires is the willingness to open our minds and our bodies to treatments and techniques that utilize energy, spirit, and Divine or Universal wisdom to help us. We have to go beyond our reliance on the measurable and the observable, and accept that the Universe operates in ways that far exceed the abilities of our finite, human minds.
As the two of us experienced the power of non-traditional methods of healing, we started to explore other alternative sources of knowledge and healing. We found out more about energy healing, learned about medical intuiting, and became interested in psychic interpretation.
Medical intuitives are individuals who possess the ability to accurately and intuitively perceive what is out of balance or dis-eased within the body. Kate, a former client of Leslie's, tells the following story about her consultation with a medical intuitive:
I had been experiencing this relentless fatigue for at least four months, and it was driving me nuts. It seemed that I couldn't do the simplest thing, like walking up a flight of stairs, without stopping to rest and catch my breath. That was the other thing—I had been short of breath a lot. I saw my regular doctor, who tested me for mononucleosis, low thyroid function, anemia, lupus ... all of the tests were negative. He even sent me to an oncologist to see if I might have cancer or leukemia! That, too, was negative. I started to think that maybe I was making it all up, and that my symptoms were not real.
Leslie suggested that I see a medical intuitive, which I thought was pretty weird, but I really wanted to know what was going on, so I decided to try it. When this woman met with me, she spent a few minutes looking at me to see if she could see any "visible" signs of what was wrong. She also held her hands just above my body and moved them up and down my entire body. Sometimes she held her hands up higher or farther away from areas of my body; other times her hands just hovered an inch or so above me. Then she closed her eyes and seemed to be meditating or praying, or maybe waiting for information to come to her.
When she was through, she turned on the lights in the room and sat down with me to tell me what she found. She said there was a problem with a valve in my heart, that it was not functioning properly, and that it had been getting progressively worse for a while. She also said that I needed to see a heart specialist to have it checked out as soon as possible.
I had a hard time convincing my regular doctor to give me a referral, but eventually he agreed to refer me to a cardiologist. Sure enough, he ended up finding a serious problem with one of my valves, and he recommended a valve replacement. I had the surgery and it took a few months to recover completely, but now I am back to my full energy level. The shortness of breath is gone, and I really feel good. For something I was so skeptical about, this medical intuitive turned out to be right on. I credit her with saving my life!"
If you watch TV, read newspapers or magazines, or listen to the radio, chances are that you have heard something about psychics. People with psychic abilities are able to "see," "hear," predict, or somehow know things that are beyond our regular capacity to know. Sometimes this includes information about one's physical or emotional problems; often, it also provides information about the circumstances under which a medical, emotional, or spiritual issue has developed, and its meaning in the person's life. This information is often very helpful in understanding and healing one's problems.
Psychics have been gaining more acceptance and credibility during the past several years. They have been the subjects of popular television programs, and their skills have been utilized by law enforcement agencies for help in solving criminal investigations. It is not uncommon for people to consult with psychics in order to understand issues and challenges in their lives, or for help in communicating with loved ones who have died.
Energy healing comes in different forms. Energy healers transmit energy through their hands through practices such as Reiki. Reiki practitioners serve as conduits for ITLχITL, universal life force energy, to be directed to the recipient for healing. Reiki wisdom is that every person's body, mind, and spirit knows what to do with ITLχITL when it is received, and that the energy is thus utilized in whatever ways that person most needs it. Some teachers of energy healing believe that Reiki and other energy techniques were actually the tools used by Jesus and other religious figures to perform the miraculous healings recorded in the Bible and in other religious texts.
Energy healers are becoming increasingly accepted by mainstream medicine. Hospitals often employ energy practitioners, often Healing Touch certified, as an adjunct to traditional medical treatment. Hospices invite volunteer Reiki healers to give Reiki to patients, their loved ones, and to the doctors and nurses who work with hospice patients. Its calming and soothing effects offer a welcome reprieve from the emotional and physical stresses that accompany serious or terminal illness for patients and their caregivers. And its power to rebalance the body's energy flow has been credited with boosting the body's natural ability to fight disease.
Leslie and Cathy have both received Reiki and other energy healing treatments, and we have recommended it to many clients through the years. In fact, Leslie found it so helpful in treating her chronic musculoskeletal pain that she decided to be trained as a Reiki Master practitioner. She has used Reiki to treat chronic pain, anxiety, and even pregnancy-related discomfort. One mother-to-be reported that after a Reiki session, her intense back pain was relieved when her baby actually shifted in the womb to assume a more comfortable position.
You don't have to believe that energy healing, medical intuition, or psychic interpretation is real, or that it works, in order for it to work. It does help to be open to accepting the possibility that it could work. But either way, it's like gravity: you don't have to believe in it in order for it to work. If you let go of something you are holding in your hand, it will fall to the ground, whether you believe that it will or not.
Our good friend Mikki Fogg shared with us the following story of her energy healing:
First off, let me tell you that I grew up in an extremely logical, intellectual, and scientific home—we never spoke of spiritual things (not even God), and my entire family firmly believed that if you couldn't see, hear, touch, taste, smell, or somehow measure something, it just plain didn't exist! And anyone who did believe in such nonsense was definitely a bit on the wacky side ...
I continued this early training by following a scientific path myself—deepening my beliefs in the concreteness of the physical world by studying engineering at a renowned scientific institution: MIT. At that point in my life, I knew that our world was very solid and tangible, and it was all easily explained by a set of physical laws (based on Newtonian physics) that were as inescapable as gravity.
When I was in my early forties, however, I had my first experience of truly feeling energy move ... I was at a weekend retreat where we were attempting to connect more deeply with the joy inside of us (a sneaky way to get a non-believer like me to come to a "spiritual" retreat, huh?). In one exercise, four of us stood in a circle and each focused our attention on the eyes and the heart of the person across from us. Continuing this practice, the four of us then did an hour-long open-eyed meditation together.
About twenty minutes into the meditation, I began to feel a strange tingling sensation in the palms of my hands. With each in-breath, the tingling increased. Pretty soon, I could feel the energy swirling from me to the person on my left, to the person across from me, to the person on my right, and then back through me. And with each cycle, it grew stronger. I knew the others felt it also, because soon we were all swaying in unison in the direction the energy was flowing. My body was electrified, and I could feel myself melding with my three meditation partners. By now the energy was so intense that we were all beaming with broad gleeful smiles. Perhaps everything in the world was not solid and tangible after all!
Excerpted from Spiritual Prescriptions for Turbulent Times by Cathy Thomas Leslie S. Evelo Copyright © 2013 by Cathy Thomas, LPCC, and Leslie S. Evelo, PhD. Excerpted by permission of BALBOA PRESS. All rights reserved. No part of this excerpt may be reproduced or reprinted without permission in writing from the publisher.
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