Wednesday, April 27, 2011

Wounds - Part 2


Once we have located the wound then comes the work of healing the wound. If you begin to think of energetic wounds in the same way that you might think of a physical wound, you can follow the same process that you would use to heal that.
  • -      Expose it
  • -      Clean it out
  • -      Put medicine on it
  • -      Protect it while it heals
  • -      When healed: forget about it and move on

So let’s look at those steps in terms of energetic wounds to give you an idea of the actual healing process. Depending upon the wound that you expose, you may be able to do this work alone but you may also need to seek assistance from someone in the healing profession or a trusted friend. Don’t be afraid or ashamed to ask for help. Asking for help isn’t a sign of weakness; it’s a sign of courage. The healing process is a journey into your power, a willingness to look at what holds you back so that you can become stronger. It takes strength and courage, so honor those qualities in yourself and know that none of us are in this alone. The perception of aloneness or separation is what keeps us from truly healing our deepest wounds. We are all connected and as each of us heals our individual wounds, the collective benefits and grows stronger. That fact is why I’m sharing this information with you and all the information contained within this blog.


This is where “going into your fears” comes in. Here are a few ways that you can identify where the wounds are so that you can expose them.
  • -      A subconscious resistance to doing something that consciously we know we should be able to do
  • -      Irrational fears or phobias
  • -      Phantom pain in your body, especially if it changes location
  • -      Dis-ease
  • -      Body tension
  • -      Anxiety, depression or over-excitement
  • -      Hyper-sensitivity
  • -      Strong emotional reactions
  • -      Judgmental attitude

All of these issues are indicators that we are off balance and away from our true nature which is perfect health and true inner peace. If we believe in the Western Medicine model of disease and treatment, we will run to the doctor with most of these issues and try to get a pill to fix it. The pill will mask the symptom but it doesn’t cure the issue. Your body manifested the symptom because your subconscious mind held the belief that you needed it. Your body therefore also knows how to release it and cure it.


Once you determine what the wound is or is related to, then you can begin work on the issue. This involves taking an open and honest look at the issue without judging yourself for having it or rationalizing it away. Judgment moves us away from healing and so it has no place in the healing process. The need to judge is often an indicator that there is a wound that needs healing.

One way of getting to the core of an issue is by continually asking “Why?” until you’ve gone at least 5 layers deep. For example, let’s say you have exposed a wound and are ready to clean it out. Quiet yourself, still the breath and focus inward. Ask yourself “why is it a problem for me that (insert the issue here)?” and then wait for the answer to come. Rather than trying to figure it out, just drop that question in to your consciousness, sit quietly and wait with an open and receptive mind. When you get ANY answer, ask yourself “why is that a problem for me?” and wait for that answer. Continue this cycle of inquiry until you’ve gone at least 5 layers down. Each time you go deeper with the “Why?” you move closer to the core issue. If you stop after the first one, you’re only brushing the surface symptom and not addressing the core issue. Dig deeper!

The key here is to trust whatever response arises in your mind without judging it. It may take you 10 layers to get to the core issue so stay with the process no matter what happens for you. Journaling is a great technique to help uncover issues in this way. Engaging the inner dialogue and documenting the thoughts through journaling will bring many deeply held issues to light that might be otherwise missed by just “sitting and thinking”. As you journal and notice issues, ask yourself “why is that a problem for me?” and just keep the stream of consciousness writing going and watch what comes out.

You’ll know when you hit the core issue because you will probably have an emotional release of some sort or one of those powerful “AH HA!” epiphanies that makes everything seem suddenly clear. Don’t let a few tears or a little “ah ha” slow you down however, get under the issue all the way to the core. That is how you clean it out. Go at least 5 layers deep with the questioning before you stop but go until you truly know you’ve hit the core issue. Over the years we have built up excuses and rationalizations for why we behave and respond the way we do. These things keep us in victim mode and away from healing. “I’m not (strong/smart/pretty/rich/clever/etc) enough to do that” is nothing but the wound speaking so that it can stay hidden. You ARE enough, you just have to learn to believe that with all of your being.


Now that you have dug down into your psyche and determined what the core issue is then it’s time to go to work on healing the issue. Depending upon what the issue is and how deep it goes, you may need to seek help with this part from those trained in doing healing work. This can be energy workers or body workers, shamanic practitioners, counselors, psychologists, hypnotists, or anyone trained in some technique which specifically addresses your issue. When searching for professional help, the main thing to keep in mind is that this is an energetic wound; you need to get it out of your head as well as out of your body and energy field. This is often why people don’t see complete results from talk therapy. Understanding the issue and talking about it only heals part of the issue. Perhaps you’ll need to see two or more people to fully clear the issue. Trust your intuition and listen to your body when doing the healing work.

Ultimately this part of the process is about understanding and clearing a core belief that is driving the behavior/issue that you trying to heal. Once we have a deeply held belief at the subconscious (this lifetime) or super-conscious (soul level) level that is where the belief must be released from. As we mature and gain knowledge in the world, our beliefs and views may change in the conscious mind but if we unconsciously hold a contradictory belief, that is the one which will drive how our bodies respond. The body is controlled by the subconscious mind and so that is where the healing must occur.

One book that I’ve found to be very helpful in my work and in my life is “You can heal your life” by Louise Hay. Her body of work is unparalleled. Through her years of working with the body, she has come up with a chart that maps physical symptoms to their underlying emotional cause. She shares many wonderful techniques for doing self-help work that are simple and effective for anyone to use. The techniques may not be able to help you resolve every issue which arises but it is a great start for most. For the rest, seek experienced healing professionals.


True healing takes time. If you are working at the energetic level, change can occur there instantaneously but because the body is more densely held energy, change will occur more slowly there. The best example I can give is to think of the 3 states of water; solid, liquid, gaseous. Let’s say for example that your wound is that “you believe that you are not worthy of love”. This gets frozen inside your body which we’ll call the ice cube. Let’s say that belief makes you cold and unapproachable. I come along with a heater (love) and surround you with it. The air around you may warm up instantly but the ice takes time to thaw. Slowly it becomes water which is less energetically dense and allows for change more easily. The water begins responding to the heat and warming up which further melts the ice. Finally after the ice is fully melted, the water reaches a point where it boils and eventually becomes vapor.

We are a lot like that. Our bodies are the ice cube, our emotions and thoughts are the water and our surrounding energy field is the vapor. It’s important to keep that in mind when doing healing work so that you give the process time to complete. The change has to occur at all 3 levels to be effective. This is why often people will have surgery to heal an issue and a few months or years later, the problem is back. They simply chipped away some ice but didn’t clear the core emotional issue. Our entire being must be addressed and tended to for healing to be completely effective. The energy body holds the template which the physical body forms to.


The important part of healing is to accept and embrace the results. If I continue to hold on to my story around the issue and form my identity around that wound, then I’ll never be able to move on with my life. For example if my issues were rooted in being molested at age 10 by a friend and I get my attention by being known as a “molestation survivor” then I am still holding on to the drama therein. In the present moment, where I exist, the abuse is not occurring only the identity I’ve formed around the wound is all that is left. I am the only one holding the memory of that event so I need to do my forgiveness work for the perpetrator and for myself to the point where I can let it go. I can then begin forming my identity around being complete and whole. It’s the difference between being known as a “survivor” and as “a fully empowered being”. As we heal and become whole, the words and labels that we use to define ourselves need to change as well. Heal. Forgive. Forget. But remember, the healing part has to come first because your conscious mind may forget but your body remembers.


While it may seem easier to go with the “out of sight, out of mind” philosophy when it comes to doing healing work, that approach really does not work. If we spend all of our energy trying to run from or ignore the core issue, nothing will truly change. Our outer experiences in the world will continue to trigger us in an effort to get us to heal the issue. We can blame the world or other people but our spirits have a vested interest in us being healed and whole and so they will always attract those experiences which will move us in the direction of healing. Until we stop blaming others and own the fact that whatever experience is happening for us is one which we have attracted or created to help us move towards healing. We have to be grateful for its presence in our lives and thank it for what it has to teach us.

When we claim our power to create in this way, especially if we are creating negative experiences for ourselves, we can then own our ability to use that power differently to create experiences that we do want. We can always choose to learn through the “teacher of pleasure” or the “teacher of pain”. If we create pleasurable experiences which help to evolve our spirits and help us grow, we will be attracted to that and we will indeed grow. We will want to do it more and more. Loving yourself more or hating yourself more. Which do you think would make your life happier?

Sometimes in order to fully embrace the change that we manifest in our lives, we have to be willing to let go of our old identity. We have to release our old stories and be done with the past. No longer victims of our past but rather powerful beings who because of their past have made it to be a part of the present moment. Each and every one of us that is alive at this moment is here because we chose to be here, even if unconsciously. We are the chosen ones who are awakening in this moment to be a part of a shift in human consciousness. Cultures from around the planet have predicted it and with open eyes we can witness the fact that we have to evolve the way we think and behave quickly before we destroy ourselves. We are fighting because of our differences and not celebrating our diversity.

Who would you be if you let go of your oldest story of wounding? What would your life look like if you didn’t hold on to that identity?

Wednesday, April 20, 2011

Wounds - Part 1

Wounds. We all have them and usually we have lots of them. They’re such an integral part of who we are that most of us aren’t even aware of them…yet they’re still there. When people who haven’t done much inner process work hear this term, they believe it means physical wounds, such as cuts, scraps or old broken bones. Those are indeed wounds but the wounds I’m speaking of are energetic in nature and typically show no outward physical appearance.

Energetic wounds are places in our energy fields, which surround and include our physical body, where we hold the memory of the hurt which has come to us. This hurt comes in many forms. Sometimes this hurt has come from physical damage such as when we are in accidents or fights. The majority of our wounds however have an emotional or mental cause. These are the ones which are less visible and are often outside of our conscious memory either because they are so old that they’re forgotten, were so subtle when they occurred, happened to us when we were so young that we don’t have a recallable memory of the experience or it was so painful that we’ve chosen to forget it.


Wounding occurs when we encounter an experience which we are unable to process and resolve. Our inability to process an experience may come from a variety of factors including age, past experiences, mental weakness, misguided information or a violation of our trust or boundaries. Whatever the reason for the experience or our inability to physically, mentally, emotionally, sexually or spiritually handle it, the wound is formed and it begins to shape our lives and affect our identity, often to our detriment. Unfortunately the wounds that we carry often cause us to inflict the same wounds upon others.

To understand this process, let me give you an example from my own life. The post I did called Body Memory lays out the story of my childhood haircut drama. As a child, that event was so traumatic for me that I collapsed in tears. That trauma was the source of a deep wound for me and at the time “emotional wounding” was not anything that I was aware of. My response to the experience was to find ways to protect myself from ever letting this happen again.

Growing up I was always very defensive when it came to my hair and always did my best to ensure that it didn’t attract any more negative attention than necessary. Unfortunately I also had very thin and fine hair and it began falling out in my early 20’s and this became an all-too-frequent topic of conversation. I knew that I was incredibly defensive about it and often lashed out inappropriately at others who made wisecracks or comments about it. Anytime anyone would make a comment about any haircut I got, I would shut down and quickly try to change the topic. Often that defense strategy would involve some sort of self-deprecating humor that served to further hold my wound in place. I became my own worst enemy. In some respects, the day that I decided to shave my head was the day that I found peace. My hair could no longer be made fun of because now it was gone.

It would have been very easy for me to write off my defensiveness as “no one likes to be teased about anything personal” but my response to the teasing was always more intense than was warranted. This was because an old wound was being triggered deeper within my subconscious and that wound was the source of great embarrassment. Yet this was an experience that I had mentally blocked out because it was too painful to hold on to but the wound was still very present in my energy field. It wasn’t until the meditation experience that I even recalled the original event.


The obvious question then becomes “if I can’t remember the original wounding experience, how do I heal that wound?” This is where awareness and inner work come in to play. Being self-aware is about being able to be in the world and engaged but also being “the observer” of your experiences. Many of us experience the Observer but do it from an unconscious place where it is typically ignored. The Observer is that small part of our consciousness which is constantly witnessing the events which unfold in our lives. The key to identifying the Observer is that it is not judgmental nor does it direct us in any way. It is simply the silent witness.

For most, the Observer is first experienced consciously during a meditation practice. It is that part of our consciousness that not only is aware that we are sitting for meditation but also the part that observes the thoughts that we have. It helps us become aware of the thoughts when those thoughts are not the object of our meditation. For example, let’s say that I’m sitting to meditate and my focus is on the breath. Perhaps for the first 20 seconds I’m witnessing myself focusing on the breath, then I hear an the external sound of plane flying overhead, which causes me to begin thinking about the last time I flew somewhere for vacation. The next thing I know, I’m thinking about me lying on a sunny beach somewhere. Perhaps a few minutes pass before eventually I catch a nudge from the Observer that brings my awareness to “beach thoughts” and this allows me to bring my awareness back to the breath.


The key to that experience however is learning to be connected to the Observer. The Observer is always consciously aware of our experience and can help us become aware of those times when we aren’t in the present moment but rather lost in thought and past events. By deepening our awareness of and connection to this part of our consciousness, we can begin to be aware of when an old wound has been triggered. We may find ourselves in a defensive place trying to rationalize our irrational behavior or reacting like we are 8 years old. This is when the Observer gives us a nudge that we aren’t in the present moment. If we are aware of that voice we can not only observe that we are reacting from a wounded place in our psyche but also what the nature of that wound is.

To give you an example of how that process might look, let’s continue with my hair story. Perhaps someone had made a wise crack about my hair being messy and I became unconsciously triggered by the comment. I became defensive and went into pattern and began projecting my wound onto them by making fun of either their hair or something which I knew would hurt them. Perhaps a bitchy comment I make upsets them and a verbal or physical fight ensues between us and we both lash out at each other. Now my focus is on this fight and not the original wound.


It would be easy for me to walk away from that event with my focus on how mean the person was or just the fight itself and still have my deeply hidden wound intact. If I had been aware of the Observer, perhaps I would have noticed that their hair comment took me out of the present moment and into the past where my original wound was. I could have then been aware that there is an old wound that needs healing and even that it has to do with being so self-conscious about my hair. This information would have come to me via the Observer because it witnessed the events just as they were without the judgments of my personality or emotional coloring.

Typically we can become aware of old wounds this way because of our emotional response. We become overly emotional or we experience fear or anxiety. This is where the old spiritual adage “go into the fear (or pain)” comes in. By being aware of what the issue is that triggers us, we are given a pathway to healing an old wound. In my example above, if I had been self-aware enough to notice that I was defensive about my hair, I could have used my time alone to process that through a simple inquiry into my subconscious, “why am I so sensitive about my hair?”


Our fears point the way to healing. Unless there is physical danger involved, truly we have nothing to fear so when we notice that the emotion of fear is present, we can use that as a compass for locating and ultimately healing an old wound. In my example above, I had the fear that someone would talk about my hair so I would go out of my way to try and keep it perfectly combed and styled in a way that I believed was attractive. I of course wasn’t fooling anyone but myself. I held the belief that no one would notice that it was thinning by keeping it styled and sprayed into place. Yes, it was a different issue from a child’s crew-cut but my hair was a source of shame from an earlier wound, thus the sensitivity.

What seemingly simple activity do you have a fear of?  What makes you say “ouch”?


This entry turned out to be a rather long one so I’m going to break it into two pieces. In the next part I’ll share a process for working to heal the wounds. Until then examine your life for those areas of resistance, feelings of discomfort and hot buttons. Watch what happens just from becoming aware of them.

Click here for Part 2