If challenging feelings are simply allowed to be felt, instead of resisted, the entire body lightens. Sometimes immediately.
The natural energy of every feeling itself is always fluid. It is only our resistance, the locking down against the fear of experiencing our feelings and emotions, that causes blockage.
More challenging feelings and emotions, like depression and rage, have a dense quality to them. But they still move. It is only our resistance to these feelings that causes blockage in the form of tension, tightness and heaviness – which we experience as suffering.
Different emotions move at different levels of fluidity. Take anger, for example. Although perceived as one of the most negative emotions, when anger is true, it moves through the body with a quick and precise energy. It is only when we resist the anger, perhaps due to guilt, blame, shame, fear, etc., that it becomes a problem. However, when anger is simply expressed appropriately, the body becomes light and expanded, comfortable.
Difficult things happen in all of our lives. No one is spared. A death of a loved one, an accident, a betrayal, the loss of a job or damage to a precious belonging. These are the harsh realities of life. They cannot be avoided.
When they do occur, if the sadness, or anger or grief is simply felt in the body and allowed to be expressed appropriately, the body will let go of the energy. And then something else can come in. We can return ourselves to joy, bliss, new possibilities.
This is our birthright. We refuse this because of our childhood-born perception of all or nothing. In this way of thinking, everything is always 100% right or 100% wrong. And there is a profound impatience. If I can’t have it now, I don’t want it at all.
The child in us experiences any negative emotions as wrong and unfair. Why should I ever have to be unhappy? We feel picked on, unfortunate, doomed by fate. We compare ourselves to others and believe what happens to us is worse than what happens to them. These childhood-born habits of perceiving the world keep negative emotions locked in our bodies.
It is the demand that we be happy all of the time that causes most of our unhappiness. It is our childish, immature refusal to allow for what is that keeps us from our greatest joy.
Although our minds believe our bodies to be fixed and static, in fact, we are comprised of energy – living, breathing, expanding and contracting energy. Every thought, emotion, belief, attitude and experience is stored as energy in the body.
While extreme energies like hatred and love are more easily felt, all emotions, feelings and attitudes have a particular vibration. These are stored in the body, beginning at conception. The feelings thoughts and beliefs we gather as we grow up become who we believe ourselves to be. This wiring feels very real, just as our bodies are real to us. Some of the thoughts and feelings that we have about ourselves are life-giving and supportive, but there is not a human being alive who does not also have very destructive thoughts and beliefs. Even birth itself is a violent, terrifying ordeal. Then childhood, no matter how well done, is filled with disappointment and hurt feelings and misunderstandings from the point of view of the child.
This imprinting is hardwired into our bodies. The way we hold ourselves in our posture, the way we feel about ourselves internally, and much more, are determined by this wiring. The hurts and fears of childhood do not just go away on their own; they must be felt and purposefully released. Otherwise, like any energy, they continue to work on us without our knowing. Trauma, abuse, abandonment, trust issues, and so on are all stored in the body. These experiences do not need to be relived over and over again, they just require being felt and let go. This is our true work.
There is no way around this. Other emotions, such as love and acceptance, also live in our bodies, but it is part of our human conditioning to hold onto the more life-threatening emotions and feelings. This wiring was vital for our evolution. We needed to remember and know in our bodies where danger lurked in order to avoid it. It is now important to remind ourselves, consciously and intentionally, that we are safe, that we are loved, that we have much for which to be grateful.
Of course, sometimes we will be in actual danger, or someone may threaten us, lie to us, and so on. Having felt our past wounds leaves us in a place to respond more powerfully and appropriately. Moreover, if we are clear about who we are in the present and not constantly reinforcing old injuries, our energy systems can feel imminent danger.
If we are connected to our own truth, we recognize truth in the other. It is usually our old injuries that we refuse to look at or feel again that get in the way of feeling connected to the other.
Not having felt our past wounds leaves us in a near-constant state of defense. In this state, the energy we put out is like a force field that keeps us (we believe) safe. It can be quite scary to imagine life without this defensive energetic force field. But living behind that mask is far worse.
I set the intention, on a daily basis, to feel into the truth of who I really am, through my feelings, not around them. It is both challenging and rewarding. The alternatives are anything but rewarding; for example, living in a drug-induced fog, or the fog of consumerism, hatred, addiction, etc. of any kind.
Resistance to feeling our feelings, causes a block in our system. Life cannot flow through such blocks. True emotions are like a wave, they come and go. Yes, there is an impact on our being and on our mind, but it is fluid.
If you watch a baby, you will see the constant flow from happy and wanting connection to rage and then to contentment. Babies do not have the distinction good and bad. They just allow themselves to feel whatever is there.
In childhood, we are taught things like don’t be upset; it’s not appropriate to be angry; and, even that there is danger associated with too much happiness. Our minds then learn to control the energy of what was once free-flowing emotion.
Negative emotions have a particular feel to them – they are more dense. Add resistance to this density, and tension is created – tension that is stored in the body and causes pain, tightness, illness. This dense block is also felt by the other. We yearn for connection, but stand before the other with a dense block which defeats our greatest desire.
Practice experiencing how various emotions feel in your body. Practice sitting and being with whatever comes up emotionally. Allow the feeling to pass without any judgment.
We are feeling creatures. It is both a blessing and a curse that we then also have judgment. There is absolutely nothing innately wrong with any particular emotion even though some feel pleasant while others are challenging. If consciously seen and felt, emotions will shift on their own. It is only our resistance that keeps them stagnant – which is the root of most of our pain.
My partner, love of my life, web designer and editor, Bill Weil, recently questioned a statement from my last article on commitment. If you have not read it, I invite you to. I would love to hear your response to the idea that you matter more than anything in your life.” You are the only one in your life who matters” does sound selfish, egocentric, maybe even narcissistic. Bill listed his children, his president, his siblings as examples of people who “matter” as much as he does. Where am I on that list I wondered”!? Lucky for me, and for Bill! his daily actions prove to me that I am on the top of that list. But it took years of working on our relationship for me to feel this way.
You do not need to know the gruesome details of my early years, but I have spent the past 30 years recovering from a less-than-ideal childhood. I look forward to spending the rest of my life continuing my own transformation and inspiring others to live their best lives.
The first lesson I had to learn on my path to emotional, physical and spiritual well-being was that I matter. I was not given that message as a child. From years of working deeply with my clients I know I am not alone in this.
My own children, and my two ex-husbands, will tell you that I went overboard on the idea of “me first.” No doubt. But now I can tell you that I feel very secure in the fact that I matter more than anyone in my life. It is from this knowing that I can take such good care of the people in my life. My clients, my children and my sweetheart all reap the benefits of my having found a balance in this most challenging endeavor.
All day, every day, I take care of people, and I do so happily. It is my job to encourage, inspire and hold my clients accountable. I also feed them, give them water, stretch them, work on them, give them vitamins and have Healing Touch sessions with them. I celebrate their wins and help them to see the opportunity in their failures. One hour I will hold someone while they cry, and the next hour I will scream obscenities at someone for whom a soft touch does not work. I listen, I lift, I lean in and am leaned on.
How could I do any of these tasks well unless I first took care of myself? My day starts with my own self-care. Every day. This is what I teach, and this is what I practice. My self-care might look different than what I encourage others to do, but everyone has different needs, are at different levels and are going for different results.
The point is to look and see what it is that you need to feel well and be well. Then give yourself that gift. You cannot be there for others unless you know how to be there for yourself. It is impossible to give generously, and from your heart, unless you are filled up. Giving from a place of resentment, or “in order to” or as a way of proving to the world that you are a “good” person is not real giving. If you are busy trying to prove you are worthy, you might look to see if you have true self-worth.
Put your own oxygen mask on first, take a very deep breath, fill yourself up so that you can then give and give and give with joy. You are the only one who can give the particular gift you have to give.
Ever since I started doing energy healing a number of years ago, it always seemed like there were two camps, the yay-sayers and the nay-sayers. And perhaps there always will be. You may be surprised to see articles like this one entitled More Than 50 U.S. Hospitals Use Energy Healing from a review article published in Orthopaedic Nursing (2005; 24 , 259–69).
Here’s a great article that talks about different modalities, including Healing Touch. Invoking the Healing Response: Use of ‘energy healing’ grows in Boulder County & nationwide. Let me close with a great quote from that article. Enjoy!
‘We have a tendency in Western society to say, “If we can’t see it and measure it, then it doesn’t exist.” But I wonder if fish swimming around in the ocean know they are in an ocean, and that the water that’s flowing through them brings them life. Energy flows through us under normal circumstances, and for our bodies, minds and emotions to function at optimum level, we need that energy flowing through us always.’
— Carol Hiesterman, oncology nurse
I’m excited to announce that I’ve become a student of Healing Touch. Many of you know, I spent three years at the Full Spectrum School for Energy Healing. Healing Touch is increasing my breadth and depth of skill in bringing energy healing to you.
I’m offering, on a limited basis, complimentary Healing Touch sessions. You do not need to be a client to take advantage of this, assuming we can find a mutually convenient time. Please phone me at: (412) 877-0452 to schedule.
Healing Touch is an energy therapy in which practitioners consciously use their hands in a heart-centered and intentional way to support and facilitate physical, emotional, mental and spiritual health. Healing Touch is a biofield (magnetic field around the body) therapy that is an energy-based approach to health and healing. Healing Touch uses the gift of touch to influence the human energy system, specifically the energy field that surrounds the body, and the energy centers that control the flow from the energy field to the physical body.
These non-invasive techniques employ the hands to clear, energize, and balance the human and environmental energy fields, thus affecting physical, mental, emotional and spiritual health. It is based on a heart-centered, caring relationship in which the practitioner and client come together energetically to facilitate the client’s health and healing.
The goal of Healing Touch is to restore balance and harmonies in the energy system, placing the client in a position to self heal.
Healing Touch Research has been conducted in a wide variety of settings and with a number of different problems and situations including:
- Cardio-vascular disease
- Death and dying
- Endocrine/Immune function
- Patient satisfaction and experience
- Post operative recovery
These studies demonstrate that there is support in favor of considering Healing Touch for providing integrative care and that patients assess it highly. Healing Touch research has been supported and/or funded by hospitals, universities, colleges, professional organizations, private foundations, and the National Institutes of Health, Center for Complementary and Alternative Medicine.