Archives For health

Recently I was reading a client who was rejecting her body. She had a spiritually enlightening experience many years ago and was struggling to return to the state of trust and inner-peace she felt while in that awakened state.  Her body was perceived as an impediment to returning to the state of peace.

Rejection or disowning the body can be triggered by having a heightened spiritual experience. The “aha” and subsequent sense of oneness with God, can make the mundane aspects of being in a body seem like a limitation. Our body brings us back to Earth after momentary enlightenment.  The pains, addictions or requirements of the body seem to be preventing us from having the bliss or deep inner-peace that is available to us in a spiritual experience.

Cultural programming teaches us the mind is the most valued aspect of human experience while religions teaches us that our spirit is the only pure aspect of our experience, the body is weak and likely to succumb to sin.  These cultural and religious programs are like silent software viruses operating in our energy field. They disrupt our clarity by invalidating our body.

When we are on a path of self-awareness we can get caught up in believing that our spiritual experience is more valid than our physical experience.  But our bodies are the vehicle we are navigating life in.  They are equally as valid and incredibly valuable to the experience we are having right now. In order to access our intuition fully we need to identify and shift the programs that block our experience of our body as a valuable partner in our spiritual evolution.

To release these programs we have to notice when we are invalidating our body. We can shift our experience by inviting the body in as a valuable informant to our decision making process. When I tune-in to my inner-guidance contemplating a big decision, I intuitively check-in with four aspects of myself. I ask if my heart, body, mind and spirit are a yes or no to the path.  If there is a majority of yes or no with only one aspect of myself that is incongruent, I explore the energy behind the incongruence. Is it an old wound, unconscious fear or cultural programming that is lighting up one of these areas as a no when all else is yes? What can I shift or heal in myself to come into clarity?

It is my perspective that we are souls in a body to experience the full spectrum of emotions and states of consciousness. We need the perspective of pain to appreciate pleasure, the experience of grief and heartbreak to understand love and know joy. If we neglect the body or reject its contribution to our experience, the body speaks to us with mood swings, health issues, pain and tension. If we label the body unconsciously or consciously less valuable than our mind or our spirit, we are in conflict with it. We have less access to our intuition as our inner-guidance speaks to us through the body and we hear it most clearly when we are in a loving relationship with our body.

When we are aligned we equally value our heart, body, mind and spirit. We recognize that including their perspectives gives us greater clarity.  We care for their needs, respect them and consider their input as we make choices for our life.

Image thanks to http://performance-rules.com

Last week I was at my osteopath’s Dr. B, who had a student in training assisting the appointment.  As she was examining my back, he instructed her, “Listen to your right brain.  It knows where the spine is out of alignment. See how you’re hand has gone back to the same spot three times. You’ve got to turn off your left brain. It is making you question what your right brain knows.” In my world Dr. B was asking his student to listen to her intuition, to turn off her analytical minds interruptions and validate her sixth-sense awareness.

What was curious to me is that this medical doctor adamantly stated that the disrupted flow of spinal fluid could be felt without any equipment, simply touching the body and listening to the right brain.  He is very good at his work, and yet explaining how he knows what he knows to a student, was challenging in medical terms.

All good healers, whether they are doctors, dentists, psychiatrists or massage therapists actively use their intuition whether they acknowledge it or not.  My osteopath doesn’t think his awareness is of an intuitive nature.  His form of intuitive knowing is innate and he’s spent significant time cultivating it.  He doesn’t realize that it’s any different than the way his student might read a patient’s body.

We all experience intuitive data differently. While the information is the same, the way it comes to us can be a feeling a sensation in our own body, seeing a mental image, hearing a voice that provides direction or simply knowing without an indicator from one of the other five senses.

Dr. B impatiently instructed his student, “Your right brain will give you the yes. Turn off your left brain!” To cultivate confidence in our intuition, we also have to set aside the left brain analytical mind and listen for the yes.  When we are aligned with the intuitive yes, there is a sense of peace that comes even if the information is difficult.

Our sixth chakra (center of head) is where we hold both our intuitive knowing (right brain) and our analyzer (left brain).  The analyzer is trained to process facts, calculate evidence and derive answers.  The analyzer does not do well with information that has no correct answer such as emotions, bodily sensations and spiritual awareness.  That’s not its job.

Yet we try to force our left brain to process all of our experiences because we are taught that logic, science, having firm unchanging answers is the most valued in our society.  Many of the best insights into non-linear challenges come when we focus our attention away from the question and let our intuitive mind, in parallel, process the emotions and senses around it.

Repetitive, creative activities stimulate this, such as jigsaw puzzles, knitting and working in the garden.  We are present yet our left brain is distracted, giving our right brain room to breathe.  It takes practice to follow the doctors’ orders, set aside our left brain and listen to the right. It feels awkward at first, vulnerable.  Yet the more we do it, the more clearly we hear the yes, and the more our intuition informs our every experience.

The inner conflict that presents itself when we sense things are different than they appear triggers our desire to know what is true and what is false. As a survival tool, intuition is a way to measure our safety in any given situation. It is a language without words that only we understand because it is the language of our soul speaking to us. Our soul has many ways to communicate with us that we may not recognize. The awareness it provides goes beyond the senses of sight, smell, taste, touch and hearing. Our intuitive truth accesses these bits of valuable information, processes them with all available conscious and subconscious reference points, then sends us a text message with a special ringtone. When we hear our soul’s message arrive, let’s hope it makes our heart as happy as the ringtone assigned to a new lover. It offers an endless fountain of energy directing our life.

If this is true, why don’t we automatically give our inner guidance the benefit of the doubt? There are many factors in our experience as a-soul-in-a-body that have formed us. We weigh the intuitive truth beside a long list of analytical data and social norms. There isn’t a person I know who hasn’t had a few experiences where they shared something they knew intuitively and were scorned, told they were wrong or ignored as if their information had no value. These types of situations, when repeated frequently enough or in a highly-charged situation, teach us to doubt our soul’s voice. If we can’t trust ourselves who can we trust? I can reference many past Self betrayals, times when I knew something but acted differently because I was either afraid of the perceptions of others, willing to pay the consequences for a short term pleasure or not willing to take the risk required.

It is courageous to follow our truth, particularly if it risks causing discomfort in others. The alternative option, compromising our intuition in a relationship or situation, is a painful Self betrayal. When we suppress our authentic Self to please others or protect our pride, we build up a backlog of toxic energy in our bodies. This isn’t to say we must always speak out when we see something, but when it affects us personally we need to act in alignment to maintain integrity with our Self. This is critical if we want our body and soul to stay healthy. Suppression of our authentic Self creates a sense of disconnect from what brings us true happiness. When we are in a state avoidance we tune-out to numb the pain of our inner conflict and the more often we tune-out the more backlog gets built up. Disconnected from our intuitive truth, we experience depression, anger or disappointment. One of the greatest gifts we can give ourselves is to honor our soul’s voice through actions that are in alignment. To do so, we must first learn to recognize when it is speaking to us. That voice will sound different to each individual. The more frequently we tune-in to it, the easier it is to recognize and understand.

The intention of our soul’s voice is to create joy for our body through choices that align with our truth. I challenge you to do more than listen to your most trusted advisor today, let it guide you.

Are You Grounded?

Natalie —  May 20, 2010 — 6 Comments

An entire day, week, vacation or project can be thrown off balance from lack of grounding.  The term grounding refers to connection of your energy to a solid foundation on the earth.  When we are grounded we feel at ease in our physical body and stable for whatever presents itself along our path.  There is strength in the center of gravity this connection provides, like the roots of a tree anchor it while the trunk and branches sway in the wind.  To trust our intuition requires accessing it from a grounded place.  If we act on intuition when we are not centered in this way the information is likely to be incomplete or distorted by the influence of outside energy.

Grounding is a simple principle to apply to our energetic body.  It is an essential function our mothers provide in our infancy and childhood until we are ready to individuate and manage our own safety and survival needs (first chakra). When we are ungrounded it increases our odds of allowing outside elements to steer our life in directions that are not for our highest good.  We can get sucked into someone else’s emotional experience and take on their battles or wounds, neglecting our own.  Sometimes the concept of 100% ownership of our personal grounding space triggers guilt in care takers.  We have is a sense of responsibility to be the foundation for others who need stability.  When we do so it allows outside energy to enter our space and we lose some of our capacity to maintain our own footing.  Alternately if we are feeling ungrounded we may seek grounding through another whose energy feels steady. 

Here are some signs that let me know when I’m ungrounded or I’m giving some of my grounding space to another person, I feel: distracted, unclear, busy, tired or off-center.  When I’m grounded I feel clarity, a greater sense of trust and inner peace about my ability to handle whatever may come my way.

Visualization to activate your grounding:

Close your eyes and imagine a tree trunk firmly connected to the base of your spine running down into the earth through all of its layers and rooted into a beautiful meadow at the center of the planet.  With your mind’s eye write your name on the trunk.  Bring this connection into present time by adding today’s date.  Breathe into awareness of your alignment with the earth’s solid yet fluid support system.