Healing the Past
I'm back with my first e-news of 2013. So, a belated happy new year to you. I wanted to share in this e-news a personal sharing that has a healing lesson to it. This morning while journaling from a place of feeling depleted inside and aware in my head of so many things I have to "tackle" and get done...this e-news for instance. And before journaling I was sitting there feeling, "OK now I need to do my movement and meditation practice in order to gain energy since I have such a full day...week...month ahead...etc.
Instead of going to my energy gaining practices, I sat with my feeling of depletion and started journaling phrases like, "When will my life coast?", "When will I just really have fun and enjoyment?", "When will life just be easy?" etc.
After writing these phrases that came from that feeling of depletion inside, I a
At this point, a recent therapy session with an elderly client I work with flashed in front of me. I asked this client, who in many ways finds complaining her home base, what she would have to feel that lives right underneath complaint, that she could only feel if she paused from the habit and impulse of complaining.
She paused, her eyes lit up and she proclaimed, "I'd have to feel how no one was there to wave a magic wand and make all the pain and cruelty that existed throughout my life stop."
Underneath her complaints against the world lived a child who couldn't bear feeling the wound of abandonment and abuse. We continued with healing work for her child...but back to this morning as I was journaling.
So, with this recent memory in my mind from my work with this client, I paused and felt what lives beneath my complaint and immediately felt a place of deprivation that lived even deeper than my first feeling of depletion as I began journaling. These two feelings are intimately connected, depletion being more energetic in nature and the deprivation being more emotional.
I then saw my younger self, Dan, who organized himself in such a way that he was a constant striver and fantasy driven so he didn't have to feel this underlying feeling of "no one really feels here with me as I feel certain, deep pains in my life. I have to be fuller and bigger than the smallness and emptiness I feel."
This living in fantasy and striving back then occurred through acting in theater productions, running for and winning a variety presidential offices of my school class, Jewish youth group organization and self-improvement practices like becoming a vegetarian, practicing yoga and meditation in the early 70's. These masks and activities covered up the feeling of deprivation-not being fed the connection, protection and love my kid needed back then.
We all have our defenses that help shield us from this undercurrent of pain within us. These defenses can look wonderful to the world and even spiritual, but they are defenses that actually keep us away deeply relaxing our minds and trusting and living in our bodies, as we maintain our disconnection from these body-centered unhealed wounds from our childhood and live in some role or striving.
So my practice this morning and one that I encourage you to try on, is once you find this undercurrent, this familiar old pain-simply ask it what it needs and then commit yourself to visualizing this need getting fulfilled, directly into the "youngest" part of you that still lives in your body. Get to the tip of the roots of when this pain was born.
In my case, I kept flashing into different points of my childhood where I had a vague sense of this depletion and deprivation existing and into that memory and body sensation taking in love and light.
This is a body-centered visualization, you are somatizing a good thing. You know how we often might say we somatize our emotional tensions into our physical body, and that's why we have this neck pain, a stomachache or headache.
Well we can somatize healing as well. It requires a certain level of "taking refuge" or dwelling on the healing energy that we cultivate as we use the visualization side of our cortical brain (the right hemisphere) which can send messages down through the emotional/limbic brain and further down into the body itself, into our heart and our guts and we physically transform our body state.
For instance in my practice, I noticed my depletion filling up, energy began to awaken in my heart and my belly and I jumped on my computer after spending 15-20 minutes in this contemplative state of taking in healing to an old wound within me.
Here are the key steps:
1. Ask yourself as you feel any uncomfortable feeling/emotion or energy state, what is the emotional pain here or what emotional pain may be underneath the uncomfortable feeling state
2. You may hear and sense states of feeling like: rejectin, abandoned, trapped, depressed, hopeless, frieghtened, falling apart, etc.
3. Ask into these states if they can show you younger self occurrances of these same states of feeling in order to heal the wholeness of you... as Carolyn Myss, a medical intuitive states, "our biography becomes our biology"
4. Ask into the feeling, "What do you need?"
5. Commit yourself to a contemplative10-20 minutes of visualizing and snesing your younger self and body receiving this healing
6. Notice any transformation in your body state
May we all find peace and healing,