The pace of life today is frantic. For many, it is rushing from one thing to the next, literally just trying to keep the show on the road. Between family, work and personal commitments, we don’t really stop to check in on ourselves or others – at least not in any meaningful way. The deep meaningful soul connections seem to be few and far between and our connection to nature has become even more distant. And so imbalances occur within us, imbalances that if left fester develop into dis-ease. And then the physical symptoms of that dis-ease force us to stop and heal. If we’re lucky, we take a step back and evaluate our lives, change things to stop the whole circle repeating itself. If we are unaware of our needs, we rush straight back into old habits, tweaking one or two superficial things and so the dis-ease cycle begins all over again. Spiritual Healing is a term used to describe the process of breaking that cycle – of going deeper within ourselves to heal ourselves in a holistic sense.
It does not mean avoiding the doctor or not listening to medical advice. Spiritual healing is a process that works in tandem with physical healing. In ancient medical traditions like Chinese Medicine, looking after one’s body, spirit and soul was an integral part of maintaining health. In the west, we have very much lost this understanding of health in the sense that it is mostly physical health we refer to.
But that is changing. Things like mindfulness, meditation, yoga and disconnecting from social media for periods are all symptoms of a greater desire to protect our spirit and soul health. There is a greater understanding in the scientific and medical community of the connections between our mental and spiritual health and our physical wellbeing. That what we eat can affect our microbiome (gut bacteria mostly but our microbiome is all over our body) and that our microbiome has a very real affect on our emotional and mental health. This isn’t a one way process – it also means that what goes on in our heads can affect our microbiome and thus our physical health.
We are a complex web of bodies seemingly layered one on top of the other – physical, emotional, mental, spiritual and soul bodies but none are completely separate to the other and what we do to one affects the other. Therefore Spiritual Healing is something we can do to produce effects on our ‘other’ body’s.
Spiritual Healing is the process of aligning our deepest feelings with our outward manifestations. That we act in accordance with what we know to be true right now. Spiritual imbalances occur when we believe something at a deep level within us – but act in a different manner. This can be for any number of reasons such as;
- Fear of ourselves
- Pressure from family and friends
- Fear of what the future holds
- Society’s expectations of us
- Social conditioning
- Familiarity with our current situation
All these reasons for not aligning with our deepest beliefs or purpose causes stress within us which can manifest in any number of areas depending where we hold that stress. Traditional Chinese Medicine holds stress as an agent in stagnation, a blockage of our Qi (energy) or blood. Various methods to relieve that stress can be then be practiced – selecting acupuncture points, massage to move the blood and/or Qi, certain foods or herbs to promote free flowing Qi and/or blood and taking actions to control the stress, i.e. working through the factors causing us stress.
When we have to go through life acting out a persona, belief, relationship or job that is not in alignment with our core feelings, we feel unhappy, stressed, anxious, depressed and at number of things. Conversely, when we are in alignment with that which we feel and know to be true, we are happy, infectiously so. Sure, we have the same problems as other people – but they do not affect us as much.
How do we go then about undertaking Spiritual Healing? How do we get from a place of low level unhappiness to just going headlong at life because we work, live and breathe our beliefs?
Spiritual Healing is a journey of small steps, one after the other. It is something we may undertake ourselves or with the guidance of another. Spiritual Healers come in many forms and titles and they have a diverse range of tools to chose from. But real spiritual healing must come within, there is no shaman, reiki practitioner or healer can better us if we chose not to undergo the process.
There are four key elements in Spiritual Healing – reflection, a willingness to change, acceptance and a willingness to let go. They may not be distinct phases and can take place throughout the process of healing. Pilgrimages are a great example of the process of Spiritual Healing – the intention, reflection, space and time involved in the pilgrimage give us the chance to arrive at a willingness to change, acceptance and a willingness to let go.
This is the diagnosis. Where we begin to take stock of our lives and ask ourselves some difficult questions. Where do we want to be in ten years? What are we doing now that makes us unhappy? Are there things or people holding us back? What are we scared of? The answers can be revealing and range from blaming ourselves, to family to friends to social fears.
Very often, we don’t necessarily know where we are going. But we’re not happy where we are. This means we have to set out into the complete unknown, chose a path and journey along it until we see something better. In real life, this could mean leaving our unhappy job, trying another and moving on from there until we find work that makes us happy.
Reflection takes many different forms. It could be journaling, meditating, yoga practice or looking at ourselves in the mirror and saying to ourselves we are not going to be that person anymore. In life, it starts as this low level awareness that all is not right. We my be rushing around thinking ‘what the hell am I doing?’ or dreading work on Monday morning. We might be depressed at the thought of having to go home or find it a struggle to show show love. With time, the cracks begin to appear until we are forced to open the door and enter a period of full blown reflection.
Reflection is the time when we begin to recognise that who we are is not who we are. A willingness to acknowledge this can be hard, because we spend so much of our lives building up this persona around us, an ego that is ‘us’ and this ego never wants to die or lose face. So when we begin the reflection process, it is all about being willing to look beyond the superficial ego and ask ourselves questions that poke deep into our spirit.
A willingness to Change
After a period of reflection, plans begin to form. It can be a liberating experience when we consciously decide to reflect on our lives and decide that we are going to change. And then the reality hits home! Change can be hard. It involves forcing ourselves to do things that might be scary. From taking up physical activities like sports, to leaving a relationship, moving home, going back to study or leading a new way of life.
While reflection is a mental and spiritual phase, it cannot be separated from our physical activities or healing will not occur. To heal as best we can, our physical activities need to reflect our spiritual bodies and vice versa. Being willing to put in place changes that reflect the new awareness we hold around ourselves is an important step in the healing process.
Being scared of change is perfectly natural. Not having all the answers is natural. Knowing that you are going to go ahead anyway is the willingness to bring your spirit into this world and live with it fully uncloaked.
During Spiritual Healing, we become more aware of energies that resonate with us. We become more aware of the divinity that exists within all things – and within us. Our actions become more calm and purposeful and we start to align with something more powerful than just ‘us’.
Acceptance of Change / Willing to let go
So many of our old habits and routines begin to fall away when we work on healing our spirit. It is an intense form of self care that goes beyond skin deep healing. Spiritual Healing is saying to ourselves that we recognise who we are and we are going to live who we are.
That means some things have to go. And leaving things go isn’t always bad. It is not to say we forget them, or that we forget the pain or traumu someone inflicted on us. It is to say that we we are moving past that now, that it has made us stronger, wiser and we are no longer willing to allow this past trauma dictate the way we live our lives.
In Spiritual Healing, things cannot remain the same as they were before because healing in itself means new scars over old tears. This fracture that many of us have between our spiritual core and our everyday life is the fracture that causes so much illness and stress. The acceptance of change and the willingness to let go is the new skin we grow to cover the wound.
We move into a new space where we are centered, present and happy as our healing grows. Friends that once surrounded us no longer call. People we once tolerated we consciously avoid. Energy or vibrations from people that are no longer in alignment with our own we avoid. We chose to consciously ignore people who seek to drag us down to their level, to the level we were once at. Our opinion of ourselves is far more important than anybody else’s opinion.
New faces slowly begin showing up in our lives. Fresh opportunities. New habits, foods and routines. This is all new skin for our wounds. It is us doing something divine for ourselves – self healing on the spiritual plane. We driven by our spirit within, a spirit that has subtly moved from being repressed to being allowed to breath, be and live. It is not others who dictate to you who you must be anymore but the true expression of your spirit that calls you to live a life that gives you peace.