Our Emotional and Spiritual Gut
THE PRACTICE OF LETTING GO
Letting go can be interpreted in so many ways. Release, trust, acceptance, surrender, these are all terms that may inspire the feeling of letting go. A few months ago, I saw a picture in my mind during one of my meditations. I had been experiencing some stress and was seeking relief. In my mental picture, I was holding onto a trapeze bar in the sky. As long as my hands were tightly clinching the bar I would feel the apparent gravity pulling down on me. I could feel the weight of my body as I held on for fear of falling. The relationship between me hanging onto something and the ground below created a sense of fear. The focus from this vantage point is directed towards what seems to be an inevitable observation. I am hanging onto something high off the ground and when I let go I will surely die. But what if the bar and the ground were not a part of the equation at all? What if they are part of an illusion? What if all there really is, in the place where our spirit abides, is the space in between the bar and the ground? What if that space became the focus of our attention and we didn’t scramble to hang onto anything outside of ourselves for our security?
At first the thought of letting go of the bar seemed to be counter intuitive. It seemed that I would surely plummet to my death. Yet, when I gained the courage to let go, I didn’t fall as I suspected I would. Instead, I released into a weightless space. It was as though I was floating on a cloud. I had entered into a place where everything flows, where instantaneously all my confusion, fear and struggle ceased to have power over me any longer. In this place there is no fear, no struggle to survive, no lack. All things are complete. All things are content. All things are exactly as they should be. All things are full of joy and the pleasure of being alive is realized.
No longer do the limitations of gravity confine or define who you are or what you are capable of. In this place, the conditions we observe do not apply. You enter into an unconditional love. A love without form. A love that stretches beyond our understanding. You can choose to tightly hold onto the trapeze bar, go through the motions, allow fear or someone else dictate who you are and where you lead your life. Or you can choose to let go of the bar, release into the unknown, take flight, embark on a journey that reaches beyond the parameters of who you thought you were and bask in the weightlessness of the unconditional love that is truly your very nature.
BEING PRESENT NOW
When I started dating my husband, I had been out of the “religious church” for several years. I had grown extensively since living outside the old beliefs that I had clung onto, yet, I was still struggling with some of the fear-based principle’s that had for years defined my identity. Almost on a daily basis, I would have bouts of intense paranoia. I would have feelings of fear that I was on the wrong path, or that God was disappointed in me. These thoughts would take over my mind and there seemed to be very little that could soothe my anguish. Then my husband, Ben, introduced me to the book “The Power of Now“.
For the first time, I realized that the “right path” I had looked for, to the point of exhaustion, hadn’t a thing to do with getting somewhere, but was completely about being present right here in the now.
Letting go and accepting yourself where you are, just as you are, allows you to embrace this present moment. Right now is all we have. It’s the only reality. There is no past or present because when you get “there” you still find yourself being “right here”. Constantly seeking to be somewhere else, rather than being where you are right now, will only lead to frustration and dissatisfaction. We must embrace “what is” in order to fully realize the harmonious, effortless flow that is swirling all around us. This universal flow from which all things thrive and exist is ready to fully receive and accept who we are without merit, success or accomplishment. When we know that true success is based solely upon our connection to our source, we can let go of the rat race that drives us to become something other than who we truly are and transition into who we have been all along. Without the masks or facades to depend upon, we rise to our full potential. We discover what we truly are made of and we experience an abundant life.
It takes time to grasp this concept (I am still learning), but living in the present moment is now a principle I live my life by. Letting go of the wrongs that have been done in the past and/or the improvements that may happen when “this or that” happens in the future, has refocused my experience into a place of contentment, love and full acceptance. From this place, the beauty of our true self can unfold. We can see and be seen.
I have found keeping a journal to be very therapeutic. It’s great to have an outlet with no rules. Allow for your mistakes and imperfections to spill out upon the page. Release your deepest emotions and let it be. There are no wrong or right words or feelings, just be real. You can journal as a way to get into the deeper parts of your psyche. If I feel stumped emotionally, I do what is called “free writing”. Just put the pencil to the page and let it go. Write anything and everything that comes to mind. Be mindful not to judge anything that wants to come out. A lot of times this can jar loose some deeper emotional thoughts or beliefs and bring them into your awareness. Allow yourself to let them go when they come up. Hanging onto them, or trying to figure them out, will only activate the negative emotion that you may be feeling. This exercise is not meant for harboring past wrongs that have been done to you. On the contrary, it is meant to release these feelings by letting them come up and out.
JIN SHIN JYTSU
I have always been fascinated by the energy fields flowing through our body. When I realized that we are incredible energetic beings, I started to become interested in the energy healing arts. Jin Shin Jytsu is based on the principle that in order to heal the body, the person must strengthen and harmonize the flow of life energy within. This can be done simply by using our breathe and hands together to balance the flow of energy the Chinese call “chi”. What I love about Jin Shin Jytsu is you can administer the practice to yourself. Practicing Jin Shin Jytsu is completely manageable with just a little amount of understanding of how it works. The Touch of Healing is a great book that walks you through the process of Jin Shin Jytsu and teaches you how to implement this practice.
I find Jin Shin Jytsu to be very helpful for dispelling headaches, fevers, menstral cramping, stomach aches, and colds. The more our energy can flow without obstruction, the healthier we will be. This practice can greatly increase your immune system’s efficiency while creating a feeling of emotional “lightness”.
“The true sign of intelligence is not knowledge, but imagination.”
What are the thoughts that run through your mind on a regular basis? Do they bring you happiness? Are the thoughts that receive the majority of air time in your head a benefit to you by helping you to feel good? If not, what are the thoughts that help you to feel good? Are those the thoughts you want to spend more time thinking about versus the feel-bad thoughts? It sounds rather simple. Yet it is and it isn’t.We’ve spent a lot of time gaining a pseudo comfort in the thoughts that don’t feel good to us. It’s as though we’ve created a relationship with some thought patterns and we believe we need them to keep our lives running. But running where? Observe what you think about. When you detect a thought that causes you to feel tense, fearful, bad, guilty, shameful, etc., you can choose to leave the thought and turn the corner. Then you can immediately choose a feel-good thought. Usually this feel-good thought is completely unrelated to the feel-bad record you were playing in your head. Start small and general. Think of something that was happy in the past if there’s nothing in the present that you feel you can be happy about. Milk that thought. Get in touch with those feel-good feelings. Time is ultimately an illusion. So the feelings you activate from that past experience live in you now. It’s as though you are experiencing that experience right now when you think about it. I know that tapping into those feelings, if meditated on for a length of time, will make the feelings start to multiply. Happiness really is a choice; it’s not something that is only felt during pleasing conditions. When we know that happiness is our natural state of being, anything less becomes intolerable.
You can only live an honest life when first you are honest with yourself. Ignoring my true feelings had somewhat become a part of the person I had created myself to be. My true self needed to be disentangled from the person masquerading as me so that the true presence of love living in me could be seen. My journey into health began when I became aware of this mask I was wearing and made the decision to be ruthlessly honest. Honest with myself and honest with others. This scared the crap out of me! I didn’t want to disappoint anyone. Through this honesty, I recognized that I didn’t feel good emotionally or spiritually. I felt as though a heavy weight lay upon my shoulders determined to hold me down. As I investigated further, numerous negative beliefs I had been carrying around started to rise to the surface. Through consistent practice of being honest, the facades, fears, heaviness, and discomfort started to subside. It was as though I had been living in a dense forest with no awareness of the vast, open field just around the corner. I decided to round the corner into honesty. I found the field. How beautiful it is here!
There are many ways to meditate, a walk in the park through a scenic landscape, singing/playing an instrument, dancing, building blocks or putting a puzzle together with your children. These are all wonderful ways to connect with your deeper self. I also prefer a daily dose of intentional meditation, sitting in a comfortable position, breathing deeply and clearing my mind. The idea is to stop all thoughts in order to reconnect with your natural state of being. In our culture, there are endless distractions. We live inside a whirlwind of choices. Often, instead of making our lives simpler, all of these choices overwhelm our senses leaving us confused as to who we are and which way to go. Meditating can reset the negative momentum we may feel trapped inside of and place us onto a path that breeds a more beneficial emotional perspective. By purposely quieting our minds and slowing down, we can allow who we truly are to rise to the surface. The negative momentum that had led us down a treacherous path will come to a halt. We then can replace this negativity with beliefs and thoughts that inspire us and pull us into alignment with our true self.
NEURO EMOTIONAL TECHNIQUE
I was introduced to this practice in 2000. It has helped to dislodge emotional blockages that had created a huge wedge in my well-being. NET‘s can help exponentially with food allergies, emotional suppression and health in general. It’s a therapy that taps into the more primitive brain using Applied Kinesiology and the meridian system to pinpoint emotional imbalance resulting in health issues. When the emotional blockages are cleared your body returns to its natural state of alignment. You become “defragged” – just like your computer. The once-bogged-down info lurking around in your brain and body releases from your system. Your body’s energy is then freed up to work more efficiently and address issues that were sitting on the back burner.
For example: A child is eating a peanut butter sandwich while observing an intense argument. If the experience is strongly impactful, the brain may begin to associate peanut butter with the intensity of emotion it has just witnessed. The child wants to reject or remove him/herself from the bad feeling, forms a belief about the situation, then his/her body rejects the food associated with the unwanted emotion and he/she develops an allergy to the peanut butter. Only the belief that is formed is not in alignment with the child’s true self which is love, so it causes a rift in the child’s overall wellbeing. NET helps to pinpoint the root of when these blockages occur, clears or resolves the conflict and finally helps to realign us with our true nature.