Chatting with a friend recently, and she expressed to me a fear regarding her own healing process. I think a lot of us can relate:
I’m just afraid of what I’ll find. If I explore this further and stop using (X behavior) to fill that hole… then how am I going to be able to fill it?
Without even thinking, I replied, “Maybe you’ll find that there’s no hole.”
Then we both sort of giggled at the truth of it.
This is the entire point of the healing process: realizing that you were whole and perfect and unconditionally deserving of love all along. Healing is not about about filling the “hole” — it’s about filling the “whole” with unconditional love. It’s not about becoming whole — it’s about recognizing that you already are, you always were, and nothing could ever make you not be.
First of all, recognize that anger is a natural emotion, and it reflects — when it is justified — a form of self-love. I’m not sure where your anger comes from, so it may be that you (as some people do) default to “anger” when what you really feel is fear, sadness, etc. (i.e., that anger isn’t what you’re feeling at all). But I’m going to assume you’re emotionally aware enough to know what it is you’re actually feeling, so I’ll say that if you’re feeling genuine anger, that’s okay.
Sometimes we’re angry over things that other people have done or not done. Sometimes we’re just angry at general life circumstances (e.g., “WHY did we have to meet if it was going to be so hard? It’s not fair!”). Either way, it’s alright. I say that it reflects a form of self-love in the sense that anger is the emotion that teaches us that something isn’t “right,” and that our standards (for ourselves, for a partner or a partnership, for how we believe we deserve to be treated) are higher than what we’re currently getting. It’s okay to think that you deserved all the kindness, affection, time, respect, or any other goodness that you did not receive. You do deserve these good things.
The point though is to let your anger speak — to you — and then let it go. That is, “let it go” not even in the sense of “open your hands and let go of it,” but rather “let it go” away, all by itself; it will. See, anger and all our other unpleasant emotions will keep coming back to us unless we acknowledge them and ask them what they’re trying to tell us. In other words, we would do well to reflect on them so they can be fully processed. We can delve into them, crack them open, discover whatever wounds or outmoded beliefs had seeded them and address these underlying causes — and then the uncomfortable emotions will release us.
Meditating, compassion, actively sending thoughts of love — all of these help. Another thing I’d recommend you try (which may or may not work for you but has always worked wonders for me) is writing “meditation.” Some say that writing is a form of meditation. For me, it certainly works that way; writing allows you to empty out the mind (in the sense that you can empty it all out onto a page), train your awareness to stop running haphazardly from one random train of thought to another (in the sense that you have to focus on ONE thing at a time while your pen is moving across the page), and explore your emotions in depth (you decide how deep this goes).
You can try, first, writing down a list of ALL the things you’re mad about from your relationship. Don’t worry if they sound stupid; if they’re bothering you, they’re worthy of being addressed, and you deserve to make peace with them.
Once you’ve written them all down, try to pinpoint the core wound or the core fearful thought that allowed that anger to grow. For any fearful thoughts you identify, you can chase those down further with a list of “why?” statements.
- I’m angry he never followed through on that promise.
- I’m afraid I don’t deserve for people to keep their promises to me in the first place.
- I’m afraid maybe I don’t deserve for people to do this for me because maybe I’m afraid I’m “not good enough.”
- I’m afraid I’m not good enough because…
(and you just keep taking it from here, peeling off the layers of the fear; you start seeing how wrong you are in all of your self-criticisms, and it’s easier then just to laugh them off and let them fall away.)
If you want to balance out the anger and root yourself in love again, just reflect on memories of things that make you grateful about him and your connection with him. Allow yourself to smile. Allow yourself to be grateful to him. It’s harder to stay angry when we’re filled with feelings of love.
Alternatively, if you want to balance out the anger, don’t even vex yourself over the past at all; sometimes you’ll just feel better if you find things to be grateful and happy about in the moment.
And some would say that living in the now is the answer. Others would say that it’s important to look at the “past” long enough to understand it so we can break its hold on us. For me, it tends to be a combination of both, but you simply need to do whatever feels the most right to you.
The anger will go away once it teaches you whatever it’s trying to help you realize. Anger is natural. Feeling angry feels crappy enough. The last thing you need to do is add self-reproach to that. ;)
Remember that healing is a process, and it takes its own time. Your own loving intention will take you a very long way.
Peace and love, Anon!
Somebody recently wrote to me with a question along these lines:
I’ve felt unhappy for such a long time. I’ve tried to make myself feel gratitude for the good things I do have in my life, but that’s not working. Any advice?
Interestingly enough, I was just having this same conversation with a friend a few weeks ago; she felt like she didn’t know what she was doing “wrong” because she was making an effort to feel gratitude for things in her life and yet was still depressed. Somewhere along the way, she’d received the erroneous message (from society? from a self-help book? I don’t know.) that gratitude is a cure for depression. So let me make this very clear for you: gratitude is not a cure for depression. You say you’ve felt down for a long time; that’s depression. That’s more than a blue mood. Gratitude can sometimes lift us out of a temporary sadness, as we redirect our focus to the things that make us happy and to all that is well with our world, but having depressive thoughts on a long-term, consistent basis creates and is furthered by biochemical reactions in the body, and it takes more than “be grateful!” to reverse that.
For me, crucial elements in healing my depression (which had been so long-term that I didn’t even realize I was depressed; I just thought that was the normal way to feel and that happiness was an emotional “event” in life rather than a state of being) involved seeing a counselor and making big, liberating life changes. Yes, the counselor helped even though I didn’t believe I was depressed for most of the while I was seeing her. Remember, emotional work is spiritual work. Never be ashamed of talking to a counselor to sort out and elevate your emotional landscape. There are a million reasons why this is not a shameful thing, and one reason I’d like to emphasize right now is that this sort of self-inquiry and exploration and the self-love that the process furthers are SPIRITUAL PURSUITS. Life is a complicated business. Healing anything tends to take a multi-faceted approach. E.g., medicine and rest; meditation and counseling; healthy diet and physical activity; energy healing sessions and efforts to break unhealthy cycles.
So maybe you want to talk to a counselor about the fact that you’ve been feeling so unhappy for so long. Unless you already see one — in which case, awesome!
The other thing that helped me pull myself out of my depression was… following my intuition. But not just that; I was also following my passions. Following my joy.
Yes. Following my joy seemed to help guide me out of my depression. Wonder of wonders! ;)
I took a good hard look at my entire life and all the things within it that were not only failing to satisfy me but were actively dragging me down — and then I decided to take steps to move away from them. I started honoring the things I felt would make my spirits soar, would add sparkle to life, would prevent me from death-bed “Why did I never try that?” regrets. And, unsurprisingly, this new approach to life gave me more energy, greater self-esteem, and more to be thankful for.
Depression is NOT a gratitude fail, or a punishment for a gratitude “fail,” so please don’t be down on yourself about that! Remember, when we’re depressed, we’re often not making choices in our highest good so, in some ways, there is less in our lives for which we would be naturally inclined to feel grateful. And sometimes our lack of satisfaction — in a lifestyle, in a relationship, in a job, in a health/financial/social circumstance — is a sign of healthy self-regard; perhaps you have higher standards for yourself and want something better than what you’re currently living. Never feel guilty for your own unhappiness; don’t blame others either, of course, but just remind yourself that emotions are messengers rather than punishments. Listen to what your unhappiness is telling you. Make your emotions your friend. They’re much easier to work with that way.
Finally, I’m adding here a link to an old ask I answered on pulling oneself out of depression. There are even still MORE links with other goodies embedded therein! :)
I hope that something herein has been able to help you.
Peace and love,
In my experience, sometimes, particular chakras will practically ignite, abuzz with tons of activity, in the presence of certain people or in the wake of significant interactions with them. Sometimes, it doesn’t seem, on the surface, like anything much has actually happened with the person — but the energetic aftershocks tell you otherwise.
In my own life, the intense chakra activity that follows (or happens during) important encounters tends to revolve primarily around:
What makes an encounter “important?” Well, that’s highly subjective, but for me, the chakra activity tends to follow meetings with these people which seem to bring our connection to another level. Not necessarily meaning that we are deepening a romantic or intimate connection, but simply that
Examples of what is happening at various chakras
For me, the following chakras are the ones most likely to light up in connection to interpersonal interactions:
When the heart chakra is abuzz, that’s pretty much always a good thing, provided that the feeling you’re getting is one of expansiveness, lightness, etc. Activity at the heart chakra could represent, simply, bonds of love that are lighting up, so to speak, between you and another soul who is very connected to you through love. Alternatively, the feeling of expansive lightness can represent some important healing that is taking place, new levels of awareness being reached with respect to your own journey of discovery through divine love and self-love, ooooor of your heart chakra being “cleaned out” of old, unnecessary energetic dust, blockages, etc.
Solar plexus activity is harder for me to understand, to be honest. I used to feel a LOT of this in the beginning stages of my connection with the man I call “Soulmate.” It used to confuse me because the solar plexus is supposedly the area where we instinctively register fear, and a tightening of the solar plexus can be construed as a warning sign. BUT this is also an area related to playfulness, joy, and self-esteem. So perhaps when the solar plexus becomes (pleasantly) active in someone else’s presence (or shortly after you’ve seen them), it’s a sign that your connection or something you’re going through with them relates to playfulness, spontaneity (i.e., learning to live in the now), and/or self-respect.
Another note: several years ago (almost exactly at this time of year, in fact), I was experiencing a LOT of activity right around my solar plexus/navel area. The best way I could describe it is that it was like jolts of a downright electric energy, causing all the muscles in the abdominal wall to tighten (This wasn’t an unpleasant sensation and wasn’t at all a sensation affecting my digestive system, just more of the area you’d feel engaged if you were doing an ab workout, but with an absolutely invigorating feeling.) and then release, off and on, seemingly at “random.” As I experienced this repeatedly over the course of some weeks, I kept getting the impression that this was some sort of “connecting point” and that my connection to someone specific was being fortified and our energy bodies and life paths being integrated. It wasn’t something I was trying to do, and it only went on for a few months. But consider also that we also have energetic “cords” that attach us to significant souls in our lives and our soul histories, and sometimes we will feel these points of attachment themselves, even if they are not firmly within any given chakra.
Another chakra I’ve felt become pretty active around people — or, more often, when meditating on certain people — is what’s called the "higher heart" or "thymus" chakra. This is an energy center between the throat and heart chakras (in case you weren’t familiar with it), and while I don’t know much about it, I’ve read that this particular chakra relates to past-life issues. In my case, for instance, this area would feel uncomfortable when reflecting on Soulmate, and I’d be flooded with worry that I’d never see him again; over time, it became clear that, in a recent lifetime we shared, Soulmate most likely disappeared and/or I lived in constant fear that he was going to. It took me a long time (years) in the current life to get over the fear that any encounter with him was going to be the last. So be aware of whatever you’re feeling in moments that your higher heart chakra happens to start humming too; it might be hinting at an emotional pattern you’ve carried over from another incarnation.
My throat chakra only ever seems to buzz with relation to someone or other when there’s something I’m aching to say. And probably should. And that’s my throat chakra’s way of encouraging me to say it.
Once in a while, my crown chakra goes crazy. To be perfectly frank, I’m grateful this doesn’t happen more often because it’s often accompanied with a feeling of absolute intensity, and I have sometimes spontaneously received information about my connection to the person in question in another lifetime and/or information about issues they have carried forward from a previous lifetime in which we’ve known each other, and which I am now being given the chance to help them process. If your crown chakra is going wild, remind yourself that it doesn’t hurt to keep an open mind; you may start getting inklings of important landmarks from your soul’s journey and receiving blessed glimpses of the interconnectedness and the beauty of your life plan. Not to mention the potential to help someone. :)
Finally, sometimes you’ll feel a lot of energy moving (a warmth, a sense of tingling, etc.) which seems localized to a particular spot or area that is not a chakra, but not necessarily the sense of “connection’ I mentioned above. For example, a warmth and feeling of a slight, whispery pressure just at the lips, a rush of heat momentarily on your hand while you’re writing about someone, a feeling of receiving a bear hug (with a sensation of pressure around the parts of your body where someone’s arms would be), and so on. Or even just a “cloud” of warmth which reminds of you of a particular person hanging out next to you… and this person may or may not always choose to approach you from the same direction; in my case — and I’m not kidding — for years, my twin soul’s spirit has chosen to show up almost exclusively on the right side of my body. No idea why. But the fact that he keeps doing that makes him all the more recognizable.
If the sensation gives you a feeling that someone’s there, maybe it’s just their soul paying a visit or extending a gesture to let you know that you are loved; even if they don’t expect you to notice them, maybe they’re just dropping by because they want to be there, because of their soul’s love for you! Alternatively, especially if it’s a feeling of heat on an area of your body that has troubled you or makes you feel weird when someone touches it (e.g., you have chronic back pain, or you notice you start feeling uncomfortable/embarrassed/sad anytime you get a massage and the therapist begins working on your thighs), it could be one of your allies in spirit offering you healing energy — possibly even for a psychic “injury” you don’t even yet know that you’ve been carrying.
Okay, that’s it from me for now. Hope that helps! :)
Peace and love,
Hey, sounds awesome! Well, I haven’t explored many different kinds of energy healing; mostly reiki (and prayer, and love itself), so that’s about all I can really speak to. So I’ll just try to give a big overview.
First of all, it’s important to recognize what “healing” truly is. It’s the experience of coming back unto yourself, recognizing that you ARE already perfect and whole. The philosophy underlying a lot of energy healing is that the body AND the general life circumstances a person experiences are reflecting and leading them to uncover truths about their soul’s path and the concerns it’s trying hardest to bring to its attention and process. So sometimes, energy healing will manifest in physical changes (yay! we all look for this, right?), but other times the experience will touch you much more ephemerally, like a sensation of a lot of energetic or emotional processing, or you’ll notice life circumstances rearrange themselves and/or experience amazing synchronicities or breakthroughs after a treatment, more so than seeing physical shifts.
Furthermore, even to the extent that energy healing can potentially provide you with relief from physical symptoms and (presumably) help to heal the deepest roots of the issue that has been manifesting so, it’s important to remember not to eschew conventional medicine in the process. Reiki and other modalities are often best approached as supplements, particularly since Western medicine tends to act much more quickly on the physical body and can, therefore, be literally life-saving, whereas relying on energetic healing in such situations is a bit of a gamble.
You ask how one starts. To be honest, before I was ever attuned in reiki, I worked a lot with energy as a kid, just didn’t realize that that’s what I was doing. I used to do visualizations of people’s auras and mentally try smoothing out their auras, removing blockages, charging their auras with helpful colors, etc.
There are two ways to do this: either tune in and see what kind of blockage you can envision, and then work on that, OR create a visual in your mind’s eye to represent the blockage, and go to work on that. To help with these visualizations, some descriptions of “healing” energy, sensorially speaking:
You can also add to this practice a few minutes of envisioning the person as very healthy, happy, peaceful, energetic, radiant, etc.
Another thing I did as a kid was "charge" crystals with an intention; I’d basically tell them (and say a prayer to whatever spirits felt relevant to include in the healing process) that I wanted to send particular kinds of loving or healing thoughts to another person or animal, and I’d hold the crystal, put it in a nice place, return to it periodically, or even carry it with me, sort of as a way of continuing to renew the intention. Turns out they teach you a very similar technique in Reiki 2 and Advanced Reiki Training classes, and I read in a book just two years ago or so that Ecuadorian shamans believe you can commission rocks to send messages to people at a distance (another thing I’ve been doing since childhood). So even people who don’t practice reiki sometimes instinctively turn toward this.
I also used to write names on paper and infuse that with a prayer. That seems to help a lot. And it’s another thing they’ll teach you in Reiki 2 and ART, but nothing’s stopping you from doing it now. :)
And prayer, of course, helps. LOTS. I think of prayer and intention as much the same, or two sides of one same coin.
Okay, here are my thoughts now on modalities:
First of all, the primordial energy, the energy at the base of EVERYTHING — is love. Love is free. Nobody needs to “initiate” you into being “able” or “qualified” to work with love. Love is THE universal healing energy that heals, connects, and balances ALL in existence. In fact, much of the time, I, personally, am more comfortable working with love — rather than anything else — for a lot of reasons. Love CAN NOT hurt you — or anybody else. Love CAN NOT upset any sort of universal balance. There’s no such thing as “too much” love. Love creates no cosmic/energetic/karmic debts — because it asks for absolutely nothing in exchange.
When you get into various "official" modalities, you’ll find that there are concerns about how much energy to give, or how to avoid upsetting an energetic balance, or what you must offer in exchange in order not to deplete whatever store you’re working with (irrelevant to reiki though, because reiki is channeled from an unlimited, divine source, unlike, say, qigong, where you’re extracting qi from one source and transferring it to another). You’ll also be taught about the importance of “grounding” and stuff so that getting into someone else’s energy field won’t throw you off or leave you uncomfortably exposed to the energies they are carrying.
So always, always remember that you have love, in unlimited supply, AT ABSOLUTELY NO COST (energetic or otherwise), and you have every right and qualification to work with love, and it’s free, and it cannot render anyone vulnerable to harm of any sort.
Love — YAY! <3
Okay, but back to the talk about modalities. My best “advice” would be just to explore. Do research, talk to teachers, talk to practitioners, go to free informational sessions. See not just which modalities resonate with how you see the world but also how you want to engage with it. Some teachers’ philosophies might “make sense” to you, but it’s also good to ask yourself, “Does this resonate with how my heart wants to approach the unseen?” And listen to what your heart says.
Before you train/become attuned to any given modality, it’s a good idea to meet with the teacher in person and actually book a session with him/her. Yes, this might be the last thing you want to do when you’re already shelling out money for a training/attunement, but honestly, you want to know whether or not you’re very comfortable with the teacher. And if you aren’t, feel perfectly justified in continuing the wait for another one; sometimes our energies just don’t click in such a way that we feel at ease with other people — no matter how amazing they are as healers or teachers in the first place — and it’s perfectly okay to accept that and honor your feelings about it. It doesn’t mean there’s anything wrong with you (or them); you can just listen to your heart.
Some people will claim that their particular modality is “the best” or “the highest” or an “improved” version of something or other that already exists. Think of healing modalities though like art supplies; they’re all contributing to healing, just as all art supplies are contributing to art, but you’re just going to feel more of an affinity with some “tools” than others (modalities included). I tend to approach superiority claims with skepticism (For example, is a crayon TRULY better than a pencil? Or are pastels TRULY superior to acrylics? No — this is about personal preference, personal gifts, and the type of “picture” you want to create.). However, still, this doesn’t mean I shut myself off from being open to exploring the modality itself if I find the claims overblown. People will naturally rave about whatever has worked best for them. If you feel comfortable with the teacher and have experienced the modality for yourself and had a good experience, why not be open to training in it? You are entirely free to reflect on where that modality fits into the whole modality “toolbox” as you please, rather than accepting any claims at face value. Always tune back in to see what your heart has to say about things.
For example, there’s a “new” frequency of reiki that is being taught lately, and it’s lauded as coming from a “higher” vibrational source. Do I take this claim at face value? I neither agree nor disagree with it — but I do know that when I experienced a healing treatment involving that modality myself, the treatment experience and the healing/synchronicities/insights/sense of peace I experienced in the days following were amazing and did jibe with claims I heard thereafter about that modality (i.e., that it is more deeply calming, that it helps resolve issues gently rather than potentially inspiring an anxiety-riddled healing crisis, etc.).
So healing is one of those things I think it’s best just to feel out for ourselves, and keep using our heart to guide us in terms of what resonates and makes sense, not to our minds or to our egos, but to our hearts and our souls.
One “rule” I always keep in my back pocket when screening opportunities: if it doesn’t feel loving, you don’t need it. :)
Okay, I’m not sure what else to say for now, but I hope that overview helps. Wishing you peace and love!
Note: when uncomfortable things are coming up, it is NOT a sign that you are broken or are failing at healing. It is a sign that your intention IS moving you toward (and through) healing. Approach all new discoveries and challenges with loving self-acceptance, and know that you’re doing a fantastic job.
Dude, I’ve so felt this. And others have noticed it on me too. It’s absolutely observable.
This has been a most extraordinary day.
― Anaïs Nin, The Diary of Anaïs Nin, Vol. 7: 1966-1974 (via zingara84)
* a quote Past-Life Friend shared with me. I’m glad it’s catching on. ;)