This series collects some of what I discovered about healing myself after a beast of a year involving a divorce, three pet deaths and a job with unhealthy long hours. For a year, I traveled across the planet to learn healing and healing techniques from indigenous cultures and old world traditions. Here, I’m sharing what I learned.
Through journeys in healing the self and working with others seeking similar, I’ve formed a high level understanding about how this all works and I aim to share it across numerous posts and videos.
My primary goal is to de-fluff and mechanize the emotional system as much as possible so anyone and everyone can help themselves in less time than it took me and others who had similar challenges.
These ideas are free of dogma, religion, etc… I boiled them down to what can be and has been anecdotally repeated by me and those I’ve taught. This is necessary when the scientific measuring tools do not yet exist to validate the techniques.
This goal is a long game, and here are a few of my notes and ideas from experiences thus far…
THE PRIMER : OUR BODIES ARE A DIGESTIVE SYSTEM FOR THE EMOTIONS
The first thing I want to delve into, is how our issues are represented in the physical body as tangible sensations (what we call pain or physical discomfort) or medical ailments, mysterious or otherwise.
The learnings I’m sharing to follow were absorbed across working through and with various old-world disciplines, master healers and personal experimentation over the years.
Self-assumed spiritualists / seekers will often refer to these representations as ‘Heavy energies’ or ‘Negative energies’. Sometimes ‘blockages’ (not necessarily the digestive kind), sometimes ‘Low vibrational frequencies’.
Regardless, the objective of the term is to describe an expression of trapped emotional energy that we have not yet learned to see, feel or process.
These energies often emerge in the body when our mind, body and energy connection is re-wired to cope with something that has been judged as a painful, difficult or ‘bad’ experience.
Once the re-wiring is complete, a new mechanism exists which is designed to bypass around experiencing the judged feeling. Meaning when we experience the new pattern of events that triggers that feeling or pattern we judged as ‘bad’, the newly installed circuitry/plumbing creates new mental and emotional paths that avoid feeling the true emotion we originally judged as bad… and we don’t experience it anymore.
The fun of pain.
Typically, that bypass will create feelings of numbness, emptiness, agitation or disconnection of some sort, in place of the original ‘judged’ emotional experience. This replacement is seen as less [insert negative quality here] than the original emotion. This is a form of coping mechanism.
Sometimes, if the mechanism was a design to give you a feeling of empowerment during what you viewed or felt as abuse, you might code yourself to get very angry quickly, and observers will think you’re quick to anger or bi-polar, or otherwise. Often, this is because anger is viewed as a form of empowering yourself against a threat.
In the event that the emotional process doesn’t get sent down a bypass, you’ll experience the emotion in the intended way, have an experience of understanding, and receive experience in the mind, body and spirit. This is the true digestive product of the body in the experience of emotional processing; EXPERIENCE POINTS! (Kidding. But only slightly…)
Based on these ideas, I conclude that our body can be viewed as a digestive system for the emotions, where the end nourishment is wisdom, awareness and growth. It’s a shame that we’ve not been taught how to navigate or relate to it that way, and society still regards emotional experiences as largely invalid or wasteful (probably as it doesn’t result in making anyone money!).
This body as a digestive system and how I model that out, is a larger topic I’ll address separately another time, but for now, its relevance is central here.
HERE’S THE PROOF
Want to validate this on yourself? Sit somewhere you can focus and recall a point in time where someone upset you. When you remember that time, you will feel a sensation of some kind somewhere in the body. Over time, you’ll see consistent patterns of where these arise and how.
You may experience a subtle tingle, all the way through a tension or tightness. Some warmth, or light numbness, possibly searing heat or what we call ‘pain’. If you sit with pain and observe it, in a way a wine taster might attempt to experience the qualities of a wine, you’ll see that pain is more of an aggregate of intense sensations hitting you at once.
- The Catalyst : I think of someone or some event that brings up anger.
- The Response : The moment I do that, I feel a sensation of heat, with a rapid pulsing of low to high intensity, on the left side of my chest. It’s not a heart attack; it’s what we would describe as ‘searing pain’.
- The Common Reaction : Immediately, I feel like retracting from it, distracting myself elsewhere, or numbing myself from it. ‘Itchy’ or ‘Tickly’ sensations tend to be the most potent at making me want to pull away.
- A New Reaction to Try : However, I choose to observe the sensations as if sampling a wine, chocolate or otherwise — meaning I experience the intensity and qualities as they are, without resistance being allowing to label the sensations as ‘bad’ or ‘problematic’, ‘evil’, ‘painful’ or “‘I am experiencing this because of some inferior belief I have about myself”. Eventually, when I relax into it, it starts to change.
- Releases : Eventually, I may experience a range of manifestations of an energy release, such as; burping, farting, coughing, yawning, half-yawning, phlegming, vomiting or that strange defensive laugh that happens in awkward situations. This is my body’s form of releasing that energy materially and a manifestation of the emotional digestive system working for you. You may experience similar.
Shamanic, Ayurvedic, Buddhist and otherwise ‘invisible world’ pre-science systems all over the world know these ideas well.
Every one of these faiths I’ve encountered has a common thread that personal healing is the center-point of a human’s personal and environmental evolution, and central to your evolution in mastering those systems.
HOW DO WE INITIATE SELF HEALING?
A lot of belief systems — I mean general ‘life’ ones — seem to drive the idea that when you’ve found an underlaying issue, or thing controlling your behavior under the hood, that the most effective and efficient approach is to laser focus into it, and zap it out, rip it out from the roots, commit it to fiery death and so on…
When I first started, this approach made the most sense. It was helping to embody the value of courage, which is often aligned with aggression in movies, driving forward toward a goal by attacking it head on. Focused, deliberate, aggressive and powerful.
Thing is, stored energies in the body are more complicated than a cause and effect problem like, a stain on a tile floor, or ripping out weeds with your hands. On the surface, they might behave like a static toxin or metaphorical plumbing blockage of gunk.
When approached directly, the energies laying behind and behaving as a root to the sensations, can behave as if a living intelligent being — adaptive, multi-layered, dynamic and complex. Try to get aggressive with particular sensations and watch them become harder to stay connected with and clear.
For useful tools, there are many effective ones including types of meditation, shamanic journeying, constellation group-work, massages, sound healing, reiki, color-based energy healing… All of these work at different times at varying levels of depth, but between them all exist effective key factors — in my experience — that are urgent to embrace:
- Loving intention is the key — Loving focus, compassion to the self and patient understanding is central to open the door of possibility for the most effective transformation of an emotional problem.
Violent, driven, aggressive attention has never succeeded in completely healing an issue, far as I know from my own experiences; as a facilitator and as a patient. I’m open to being wrong about this. So far, this idea stands consistently true in my explorations.
- Feeling the hidden emotion — Feeling the emotion hiding under the physical sensation is when the healing truly begins on the physical level. Intellectualization through therapy helped me understand my difficulties a little and be able to share those understandings with others, but rarely did it ever complete a healing work.
‘Knowing’ is not enough. If it was, we could read books all day and never have to face anything on an emotional level. Healing requires feeling.
- Revisitation / “Damnit, I thought I dealt with this!” — As you get further in self-healing and wisdom, your perspective on your own existence and life will change and evolve. It’s a natural occurrence that is unavoidable, and why the path of self-discovery is paralyzing for many. Change often starts as an intimidating, scary thing, as it means losing the secure illusion of permanent imagined ‘safety’.
Eventually, you’ll find an exhilarating comfort in the acceptance and anticipation of consistent change, as if in a continual video-game challenge where even that which you frame as negative is seen as an opportunity to grow, evolve and release the baggage, getting you closer to that consistent and awesome feeling of inner peace.
One manifestation of this process is when older, potent triggers will return. This happens often when tirelessly working on yourself. This time, the problem arises, but you have the benefit of new awarenesses and therefore a different perspective on your old problem. Your upgraded wisdom has given you a gift, and another layer can be healed.
At first occurrence of a revisitation, it may appear like you’ve gone down the wrong path. “Why is this coming back? I was done with it? Am I wasting my time? Am I a failure? …”, but it’s important work and necessary to move forward and evolve, because that additional perspective will clear more of that deep energy from the body and psyche.
How do you clear it if you can’t feel it? How do you feel it if you don’t know how to have compassion for it? Consider people who experience the trauma of having a parent beat them as a kid. They only understand a binary version of that experience — “This is bad. This person is wrong and bad. I am angry with this person for being so weak….” This is likely how it is until their perspective shifts and they experience their own feelings of temptation toward violence as a way to solve a problem.
Once they sit in their own difficult feelings under this, they slowly become aware that although child abuse is not ok in any angle, that they can understand / empathize the motivations and ideas that drove the parent to do it. This is a struggle for many, as empathizing with it can be mistaken for, “if I empathize with it, it means I’m ok with it which means I’ll let it happen to me again.” Of course, that’s not true, but the fear will trick you into thinking that it is.
Eventually, the person healing this trauma will probably learn that the parent was a slave to their own suffering and had not faced their own pain — even though child abuse is not ok in any scenario. The person gains more wisdom around the human condition from the perspective that the perpetrator is also suffering and has yet been unable to compassionately and non-judgmentally sit in their own pain and understand / heal it.
- You’re Ready, or You’re Not — Choosing to be ready, isn’t always enough. Sometimes we want to be ready to face something, and on some level we are.
Whenever I, or a client wanted to be rid of an issue, and a session would be initiated, there would be a progression of understanding and healing facilitated, but not the result I hoped for.
This is also known as the illusion of wanting to heal, truthfully masquerading as wanting to hide from pain that hasn’t been faced. It’s just smarter than your typical issue, as it’s hiding in an honorable intention.
The hint to you, that it’s out of alignment, is when you have that intense hope and aggression as the driving force toward healing it. “I must get rid of this! I hate it!” You’ll notice that this is a symptom of ‘2. Feeling the hidden emotion’ not being served. It’s important to highlight as it’s part of the intelligent trickery we perform on ourselves.
5. Our Coping Mechanisms Are Protecting Us, But… — All our protective reactions and behaviors — whether perceived as helpful or destructive — are coping mechanisms.
These mechanisms are often birthed from the soil of a belief system; again, beliefs or belief systems that may be seen as helpful or destructive. We designed and engineered our brains and body to execute these pieces of ‘code’ to protect us… probably when we were kids. If that part isn’t clear, I’ll explain…
When we go through an experience as children, we make a judgement on whether we like it or not. If we don’t like it, but it keeps happening, eventually we try to bypass feeling the resulting emotion of that experience. In this example, let’s say the kid was physically struck by an adult. The kid decides “I hate how this feels. Can I not feel the pain anymore?” With the emotion of aversion driving that request, the brain responds by re-coding the thought pathways and that kid feels less or no physical pain — it behaves as an emotional security system. And it will evolve with time if they keep using it. Eventually, the system kicks in (again, a successfully designed coping mechanism), and they’ve bypassed the full experience of that pain to ‘cope’ with the reality that they expect to continue dealing with this kind of experience and want it to be more comfortable.
Other coping mechanisms can start as simple coded over-reactions, feelings and / or thought patterns, or aggregates of all these, that create a whole protection network of coping mechanisms in ourselves. Essentially a powerful alarm system with it’s own enclosed system of logic and security forces. This is often with the goal of getting you to crave something, or getting you to avoid something from multiple angles. It’s thorough, it’s effective, but it becomes stale and redundant in adulthood.
Underneath all of that, is a desire to change a physical and emotional sensation to avoid it in some way. So acting as another symptom of ‘2. Feeling the hidden emotion’ not being served, this is being called out as it’s a large enough symptom to call out.
MORE DEPTH IN APPROACHING THE HEAVY ENERGIES DIRECTLY
If the person carrying the heavy energy decides to observe it — meaning just to experience and log the physical sensations, such as pulsing, throbbing, heat, mild heat, cooling, numbness, switching temperature, pulsating, pinching, stabbing, prickling, etc… It will transform with continual observation and eventually either dissipate, move elsewhere in the body or lead them to a deeper connective feeling or idea. It can take a few cycles of observation before a change occurs.
If the observer gets hungry / aggressive with it and wants to drill down into it, they effectively put their mind into hunter mode and try to chase the bugger down with that strange self-improvement version of a bloodlust…
…and get nowhere.
As stated previously, when I tried that, I was able to get some intellectual food from that approach, but overall, I was never successful clearing something deep, with the aggressive hunter’s mindset.
To help raise your awareness, ask yourself these questions:
- How many of you have had a scared creature, pet or human go to hide under something as a result of your presence?
- How many of you have tried to coax them out with gifts / bribes / treats?
- How many of you have given up on that trick and then gone for the “shove a stick in there, and behind them so they’re forced out”?
- How many of you have tried being patient, figuring out what they want, giving them safety, and earning their trust?
It bears repetition — In my experience, treating trapped energy like a scared kid, or small animal who’s unsafe, hiding, needing safety and established trust is the only way that consistently succeeds at completing a healing. Hunting it will make it hide further. Yes I know it sounds weird. Try it and you’ll see.