The mind is everything. What you think you become. –Buddha
I have a confession to make. I am a true optimist. I see the glass as half full, unless it’s a wine glass and then I am thinking please, let there be more! Joking…maybe?!! Seriously though, from an early age, I just never allowed myself to believe that things were always going to be grim, bleak, and will never change. Now I am not saying I never experienced pain, grief, and darkness. What I am saying is, I would never allow myself to linger in those emotions for very long. I am also not going to say I never had a negative thought, fuck yeah I have. Maybe for too long, sometimes, but I always tried to find the silver lining in ever black cloud, my intuitive, ever knowing self, always knew that my negativity would not bring me anything but more of the same. Long before I stumbled upon books like Louise Hays, Heal Your Body Heal Your Mind, Awakening the Buddha by Lama Surya Das, The Law of Attraction, or my favorite, The Alchemist. I do believe that you have to be ready for these concepts and be open to the practices, or you will be all to willing to dismiss it as psycho-babble bullshit, and crazy New Age, glue sniffing dogma. However, if you can allow yourself to sit with the concepts, and understand that there is science behind many of the Eastern philosophies, as in energy exists in matter, then it isn’t too difficult to see how this “energy” is either going to manifest itself in one of two ways, positive energy or negative energy. We as fully evolved humans, most of us anyway, can certainly intellectualize on what happens when negative energy manifests itself. Just look at what fear, lack of education, racism, and anger, are doing to our country at this moment. This I see, as negative energy, manifesting itself in a less than positive way, and until the mind sees this as such, it will have dire consequences not only to our world collectively, but to the individuals harnessing this dark energy.
We all know toxic people who are the epitome of dark, negative energy. The minute I am in the presence of such people, I am filled with anxiety, foreboding, and a sadness in my soul! I can be in the presence of someone and feel their energy, I am what is known in the spiritual realm as an Empath, and anyone close to me knows this, and accepts that my instincts about people are spot on, and I am automatically drawn to positive people and their energy, and anyone who is sick. I am not a healer in the sense of curing the ill, but I have been known to offer comfort with my words, have insisted others see a physician for ailments they are not aware of, and finding out they were quite ill, without knowing a person’s back story and it usually freaks people out that I have this knowing, when I share what I feel or know about what they are experiencing! I freak my kids out all the time, such fun! This has its pros and cons. Many strangers will unburden themselves to me in the line at the grocery store, the coffee shop, the dry cleaners, or at our shop. I have had customers sit down with me and talk to me as a trusted friend without really knowing me. People will immediately ask me for advice and say what a calming effect my presence has on them. Which is nice to be able to help someone who needs comfort, but the down side to this is I am also on overload in crowds, where there is so much mixed energy, it makes my anxiety work on overload, it isn’t necessarily my emotions, but the emotions of many people who I am picking up on, and I can tell you that many people are walking around defeated, depressed, and full of hostile, negative energy, and this literally sucks the life out of me, to feel all of this, and if I am not mindful of it, it can drain my reserves rather quickly. Thankfully by now, my fireman is aware of this, and will ask me if I need to leave certain situations that put my emotional well-being at risk. Which usually just requires me to remove myself from a large group of people, get some fresh air and meditate for a minute or two to return to center and I am good. In my early days this was so confusing and so scary. I was so full of people’s energy that it overwhelmed me. I could look at a person and know they are in pain emotionally or physically, and I just wanted to make them better. I know this sounds crazy to many people, but I assure you it is a real phenomenon, is well documented in reputable journals, and I can tell you it is emotionally draining! I don’t talk generally about it to anyone, and honestly, I never thought I would bring it up in my blog, but then again, I didn’t think I’d talk about my daughter whom I gave up for adoption in my blog either. Growth is such an awesome state of being! Amen!!
For a long time I saw this gift, as a burden, a curse. But now I see it as a blessing to be able to use what I have learned on my spiritual journey to help anyone I can. The key is that people need to be on their path already, in some small way, they have to be open to this energy, even if they cannot articulate what that energy is, or that they are consciously on the path, they just have to have their soul awakened, this usually happens when there has been a tragedy, a death, or some life altering event that sets them on the path. For me this happened with the death of my Mother when I was 21 and was seeking my truth. I have learned that when the time is right for each person, they will begin to seek their truth. It cannot be rushed, prodded, or forced upon someone. It must happen organically or it will be of little value to the person.
Seeking out healing modalities, and spiritual evolvement rooted in Eastern philosophies, usually happens when a person has a knowing, that there is more to healing, whether physically or mentally, then what doctors, and Western medicine promote. Sometimes it begins with a self-help book, psychoanalysis, or a class in Yoga. As I say, for me it began as exploration into self when I entered into psychoanalysis at 21. It continued later, as I explored alternative ways to deal with my anxiety and depression, which then became a spiritual journey of self-help books, Japa meditation, and Hatha Yoga. I cannot tell you what a blessing Yoga and meditation have been to me. Each person seems to be gently guided to what they need at the time. The old adage, “When the student is ready, the teacher appears” philosophy. I know many people are dismissive of these concepts and some even regard them as a form of witchcraft, but I for one, happen to be a very spiritual person and see nothing regarded as witchcraft, or black magic in these practices. Anything that moves us towards are higher good and the path to recognizing our truest self, cannot be a bad thing. Further, as in the case of Louise Hay, who healed herself of cancer, by changing her thought process, meditating, changing her food habits, and becoming positive in her thinking, I do believe that our minds control how our bodies perceive health, stress, and the world around us, and if we can become more acutely aware of this, we can begin to change the thoughts that are harming our sense of self and well-being. For example, in Louis Hays book, Heal Your Body, Heal Your Mind, she breaks down common ailments, and insists that every condition we endure as humans it the result of unhealthy mental patterns, for instance, women who are experiencing breast issues, Hays states, are nursing wounds from a strained relationship with a partner, children who have asthma, experience this as a result of “smother love” which essentially stems from a parent or parents being overly protective and smothering their children with concern and love. Now my youngest son has been asthmatic since he was 18 months old, has been on two types of asthma medication, for most of his childhood, and since I am cognizant of my role in perhaps smothering him, as my baby and because I love him, as I do all of my children, but I have seen his symptoms diminish. Now I don’t know if I fully believe all of the concepts, but the mind is a very powerful thing, and I have seen first hand what having a negative attitude can do to a person. As I have been in the presence of many negative people who become almost infected with a sense of dismay, negativity, and are always dealing with some new medical ailment or personal crisis, and it’s as if some black cloud is hanging over them. I can’t help but feel if they would only stop and be grateful for all of the good in their lives they could turn things around in the blink of an eye.
So how do you begin on the path to your spiritual awakening you ask? Oh you didn’t? Well in case you wanted to know…here are some healing modalities to explore for health, well-being and positivity. Many of which I can personally can attest to.
MEDITATION– Meditation is by far the easiest thing to begin with. You can choose from many different types, some types to discover are Mindful Meditation, or Zen Meditation, as it is often called, which is what the Buddhists monks teach and practice, whereby you focus on the breath, and the body sensations, but do not react to them, just keep focus on the breath. This is the first form of meditation that I practiced years ago, then there is TM or Transcendental Meditation made famous by many rock stars and celebrities, such as the Beatles, and my personal favorite practitioner Howard Stern, TM is taught by a Yogi and students must pay for lessons, whereby they are taught to chant a specific repeated mantra, for about 15-20 minutes twice a day. I personally like Japa Meditation, which is essentially the practice of chanting the sacred sound (name of God) with love, a I find it quite easy to quiet my mind in the spaces that it requires to summons up your manifestation. Japa meditation is based on the premise that within the mindless space of not thinking, the gaps if you will, which is what Dr, Dyer, named the book accompaniment to the CD, Get In The Gap, you are making a connection with God and in doing so are manifesting your deep desires, which can be anything from better health, more spirituality, peace, and abundance. I used Dr. Wayne Dyer’s instruction CD for guidance to learn the practice many years ago, and it is by far the best method to learn how to get in to the spaces that you reflect on to manifest what your heart desires. It begins with the Lord’s prayer, now this is not a denominational, religious thing, it is used as a vehicle to learn the practice, and you begin with the first two words, Our Father, now between those two words, Dr. Dyer asks you to visualize those two words in your mind’s eye, and then see an empty space, in that empty space you say aloud, Ahhhh… and continue chanting for a minute or two, then see another word and continue in the spaces in the same way until you have completed the full Lord’s Prayer. Each time you can extend the time you spend in the spaces as you are making contact with your God as you do so.
GRAITTUDE- Many years ago when Oprah Winfrey was still on the air and I was deep in my practice of spiritual growth, she had a guest on her show whose name eludes me, but she was sharing with the audience about keeping a journal to write down things you are grateful for each day. Now I have been doing this for the good part of 15 years, it use to be with great fervor, but I find myself slacking a bit lately. However I found two apps I love and use daily, because I love the features each has to offer, one is free the other is 99 cents, the free one is called the, Gratitude Journal 36 Diary For Your Happiness, and the other is Gratitude Rock Journal of Positive Thoughts, they make it easy for me to journal anywhere I am. I can attest that even the little things that are seemingly mundane and insignificant can become great moments of gratitude. For instance today I looked out of my office door and out into the open air and saw my little baby rose-bush that was almost dead from lack of sun on my desk, now coming back to life, and I was so happy I didn’t give up on it and nursed it to back to health! It put a smile on my face.
REIKI- Reiki is a Japanese technique for stress reduction and relaxation that also promotes healing. It is administered by “laying on hands” and is based on the idea that an unseen “life force energy” flows through us and is what causes us to be alive. If one’s “life force energy” is low, then we are more likely to get sick or feel stress, and if it is high, we are more capable of being happy and healthy.
The word Reiki is comes from two Japanese words – Rei which means “God’s Wisdom or the Higher Power” and Ki which is “life force energy”. So Reiki is actually “spiritually guided life force energy.”
A treatment feels like a glowing radiance is flowing through and around you. Reiki treats the whole person including body, emotions, mind and spirit, creating many beneficial effects, such as relaxation, feelings of peace, security and wellbeing. Many have reported miraculous results. Reiki can be used to treat and manage symptoms for many things, from cancer, spinal cord injuriess, anxiety, MS, depression, sleep disorders, and asthma to name a few. A few years ago when my son’s asthma had become difficult to manage with meds, therefore, I sought the help of a wonderful Reiki healer who was just amazing. I had gone with my son along with my other two children, and we all reaped the benefits of the treatment, as it was felt by not only by my son who was actually the recipient of his treatment that day, and had his asthma symptoms diminished for close to a year, and that whole day we all felt at peace and so light, the kids didn’t bicker for days and we just laughed and enjoyed each other on such a powerful, spiritual level, that it’s really difficult to convey, but we were all powerfully affected by the session that day! When I went back a few years later for myself, she had guided me to seek treatment for a condition that my doctor missed and she was a vehicle for saving me from a life altering event. So I can attest first hand to the power of the right healer, all this from simply placing her hands over a specific area and being in tune to ones body. Amazing!
ACCUPUNCTURE- Contrary to popular belief, acupuncture is not just a system for inserting very fine needles into specific body locations to alleviate pain. It is so much more. So, what is Acupuncture? It is a complete medical protocol focused on correcting imbalances of energy in the body. From its inception in China more than 2,500 years ago, acupuncture has been used traditionally to prevent, diagnose and treat disease, as well as to improve general health. I personally have used acupuncture for anxiety, postpartum depression and sinus issues, and it is effective and I find it very relaxing! I use to fall soundly asleep once the needles were in place, which incidentally do not hut at all, they feel like a slight pinch at best. Acupuncture has been used to treat many conditions such as, asthma, IBS, nausea, migraines, Parkinson’s Disease, it has shown effective for stroke, and spinal cord injury patients as well. One of the biggest factors that many don’t equate with acupuncture is that its primary benefit is to restore and balance energy! Yes kids, this negative energy is not helping your body or your mind! Time to let go!
YOGA- Yoga has been such a blessing in my life. I enjoy Yoga and find it clears my mind, keeps my body flexible and has helped me to keep my muscles tone, and has kept me sane as I am going through menopause! Or as I affectionately call it, A season in hell! I practice Hathha Yoga, which is essentially an amalgamation of Ashtanga, Vinyasa, Iyengar, and Power Yoga, as they all pertain to physical yoga postures and balance. Lately I have developed an interest in Kundalini Yoga, as it combines, meditation, deep breathing, and chanting as a whole practice to build vitality and increase conscious awareness, but I truly enjoy the practice of Hatha Yoga and the positions so much.
I want to make clear that I understand that some of these metaphysical and Eastern practices. are a difficult sell to people who are deeply rooted in and sold on Western medicine. I am just opening up the idea that there is more than one healing modality on you path to self, and for me, I find there is a deep correlation between the body, mind, and healing. Deepening your understanding of the world around you will not only help to enlighten you on your spiritual path, but will lead to health, happiness and to your overall well-being! So with that… let me leave you with my wish for you all, that whatever you are seeking…. may you find love, happiness, prosperity, and good health. Always stay positive, always stay sexy, and always….always…. follow your bliss! Namaste!