What happens when you smile just to be polite, or you say “Yes,” when you really mean “No”? Or you say you like something when the exact opposite is true?
The result is that your internal self clashes with your external behavior, and tension is what results. This tension may manifest as aches and pains in your body, or it might lead to tense thoughts, such as “I should have…” or “I wish I hadn’t…” Other implications can be extreme exhaustion, fatigue, and/or the desire to escape the tension through various substances (food, alcohol, drugs) or behavior (sex, gambling, purging).
Recently I watched Caroline Myss’ “Energetics of Healing” DVD. Myss is most known for her book Anatomy of the Spirit, and is renowned as one of the first practitioners to pull the mind, body, and spirit together and reach the masses.
In this DVD, her premise is that we have a set amount of energy coming from the Source to us everyday that is managed through energetic chakra centers. Each chakra manages a specific category of information. Good management of the chakras leads to well-being and equilibrium in your daily functioning, whereas poor management results in energy “leaks” that drain cells of life force and leave us depleted, tired, unhappy, with low self-esteem, and with unbalanced relationships. Taken to an extreme, these “leaks” lead to illness and disease.
While subbing a vinyasa yoga class a few weeks ago, I noticed that the majority of the bodies in the room fell into two categories: flexible and stiff. While this is an extreme oversimplification, being the therapist that I am, I began to draw conclusions to life off the mat, and to relationships in general. What I outline here can be seen as literal, metaphorical, and/or sexual.
In the office there is a large, plush stuffed gray elephant. With big eyes and fuzzy white tusks, the elephant is about the size of a small toddler and is far from life-like. I’m not sure where it came from, but it showed up in the office about a year ago, and it looks like the perfect toy to put in a one-year-old’s crib. New wall hangings and furniture rearrangements are not uncommon for the office space, that which I share with two to four others.
“Healing” is a broad idea – one that can mean many different things to many different people. It can be related to physical healing, emotional healing, grief work, soul work, and much more; and can include modalities from psychotherapy to acupuncture, from massage therapy to chiropractic, from Rosen Method work to cranial-sacral therapy, and much more.
But there’s one element that all of this healing work shares – and that is the importance of the “witness observer.” One of the very first phrases my clients hear out of my mouth is, “Notice without judgment.” It is the first tool and skill people need on their healing journey. If they don’t understand what they’re doing, thinking, or feeling, it makes it hard to change.
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