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.
SHAMANS FIGURED THIS OUT
In the Shaman traditions, a person’s coping mechanics are often embodied as, seen and defined as ‘Protector Spirits’. One popular coping mechanism I’ve seen, is one designed to protect someone from suspected bully energies. It doesn’t have a particular name, but I have seen it arise in those often labeled as ‘hot tempered’.
It works like this:
When the suspicion of bullying or domineering control of any kind is on, the person receives a filtered signal. The signal comes in as “You are in danger of being controlled or coerced into a thing you don’t want to do.”
The coping mechanism starts a train of thought, which rolls into a pattern of behavior and physical feelings, designed to trigger the ‘protective’ mind.
You’ll see harsh examples of this in people diagnosed with what we know as ‘Bipolar disorder’.
The design of this Protector Code or Spirit was likely formulated at the awareness level of a child — assuming the trauma that inspired this creation happened in childhood — so as its full character unravels, it can appear very childish to a viewer. Like sloppy software code and similar.
This pattern of belief into thought into action… gains momentum and force, and gives the defender full authority within, to completely flip, bend reality, makes up stories, and so on. Sometimes, this mindset will create events to happen so their story toward you is more dramatic, and The Protector Spirit will its hardest to make the suspected bully look like a movie villain, and protect the hidden belief / emotion that is not desired to be felt.
This particular mechanism is designed to avoid pain, but designed during a time when the pain was VERY HIGH. The abuser was likely violent, controlling and scary to this person, which also inspired feelings of complete powerlessness. Their mental dialogue to themselves is a state of complete fear and lack of ability to empower themselves, inspiring them to gain that power back through escalating fear and desperate thought patterns and behaviors toward a perpetrator.
This is to serve the goal of either backing them into a moral corner — because this kind of perpetrator likely wouldn’t admit wrongdoing — or getting some kind of egoic or practical victory to give the illusion of either strength, empowerment, righteousness or safety, whether abstract or not. The inner dialogue might look like this:
“Oh no. It’s happening again. I can’t let them do this anymore! I won’t allow it! I’ll show them! Look! There’s their hypocrisy! There’s their lies! They’re weak and I see it! I’ll show them! I’ll show everyone! They won’t hurt me again!!!”
Coping mechanisms around self-protection from harm, can often trick you into framing you as the noble hero or victim, with the oppressor as a malevolent villain you can easily justify feeling vengeful toward.
So with this in mind, consider that the heavy energy ‘trapped’ in the body, matches the energy of the personality that created it.
This is the most important takeaway of this explanation:
“The heavy energy ‘trapped’ in the body, matches the energy of the personality that created it.”
To release this energy, you need to connect with that energy as if a personality, and give it what it needed back then — which is comfortably close to what you need in the present. Convenient!
If it felt disempowered and abused, give it love, gentle trust and freedom. If it felt ignored and unloved, give it acceptance and ears to vent.
It is. Much tougher to do on yourself, as you have to be able to see it and know it first, and be comfortable talking to yourself as if you contain multiple minds in the same body, but there it is.
Once you’re able to see your issues in this way, it becomes much easier to work with them to transform the energy and heal it within you.
EXERCISES YOU CAN DO ON YOURSELF?
There are a wealth of techniques out there to clear these energies, varying in efficacy relative to the heaviness currently ready to release. Going with your gut feeling toward a technique you’ve never tried, and going with what you personally resonate with, even if it makes little sense, has yielded the best results for me and others I’ve chatted with about this.
Some examples validated by personal experience and shared anecdotes:
- Exercising above the heart rate — Exercise that pushes the body for at least 40 minutes, above the active heart rate for your age range.
- Exercising for muscular expansion — Exercise that pushes you outside your physical comfort zone of any kind (as long as it doesn’t become deliberate self abuse).
- Energy Work — A focused energy work or ritual from another to clear something specifically targeted.
- Yoga — The variety known as ‘Asana’ Yoga. This form specifically targets parts of the body believed to store specific kinds of emotional energy. You don’t need to know that information at first. If you simply know where the sensation appears in the body, you can use the Asana corresponding to it. Here’s a decent list of exercises and associated benefit claims — I haven’t tried these to medicate the issues they solve, so cannot verify personally. I’m sharing here for your own self-exploration: https://www.stylecraze.com/articles/hatha-yoga-asanas-and-their-benefits/
- Acupuncture — Be picky with a practitioner. Definitely go on reputation from people who think and experience things like you, if you can. Different people will resonate with different practitioners, hence the optimization recommendations.
- Sound Healing — It works. When it’s the real stuff. Daniel Coates, is one of the most effective sound healers I’ve worked with. If a man (or woman) can make a sound and it makes blockages in your body feel like they are physically dissolving, they are the real deal.
- Breathwork — It’s trippy in that we do it all the time, yet when given focus and intent, it’s an incredibly powerful tool. So much so, Wim Hof proved by using Breathwork, you can re-wire your system to adapt to freezing temperatures and walk up a snow-covered mountain in your underpants without getting hypothermia. Turns out it’s great for clearing heavy energies too.
- Shamanic Journeying — This is a broad tool, but if you apply it to working on your multiple minds / selves, it’s probably the most powerfully effective tool I’ve worked with, from a facilitator, toward a client and toward myself… though it can be a challenge to do it toward the self.
- Sweat Lodge — Heat coupled with ceremony and a space filled with people intending to release heavy energies has consistently served successfully for me as a participant. I highly recommend it. Be picky that the facilitator has the kind of vibe you feel comfortable and safe in. I experienced one facilitator who was snippy, abusive and edgy to the group, but the lodge was still effective.
- Constellation Healing — A ceremonial practice where a person is placed at the center of a space, and multiple people surround them and their ‘field’. Their field can be loosely defined as a ‘ radiance’ mixing their current underlying emotional problem, and the belief system underneath. Yes, I know that sounds strange. Attend one and you’ll see it work and be just as shocked as I was.
The people on the outer circle intentionally connect with the central person’s ‘field’, and without prior knowledge, this group of strangers play out the key trauma playing out in the forefront to this person’s psyche. Cue crying, hugging, releasing, wisdom… the whole pizza. It’s amazing and requires bravery as you might end up sobbing heavily in front of complete strangers.
- Automatic Writing — Typically I’ll turn off my phone, light a candle and tell everyone to leave me alone for a bit. Then I write while visualizing the energy from wherever I feel heaviness in the body, come up the arm and out my pen. And I write from the perspective of “I’m feeling this”, and all I’m doing is declaring “I’m feeling…[x]” until a story unravels. If your brain gets involved, it’s off technique. If it’s purely feeling based, you’re working in the right flow.
If these don’t grab you, here’s a few techniques from my personal pool:
TECHNIQUE ONE : BREATHE AND VISUALIZE
Image credit — Isabel’s Beauty Blog. Tis a lady breathing.
This one’s level of accessibility is down to how much personal noise tries to interfere with your brain. As long as you can be patient with yourself, and understand that the mental distraction is an element of protection / coping mechanisms trying to ‘protect you’, you’ll be ok. The key is to stay patient, and allow frustration to be acknowledged but not stay, if it does arise. If it’s too overwhelming, use Tech Two (scroll down) to lift you out of the noise, then come back to this.
This uses deep breathing, visualization, and physical body sensitivity.
Preparation : Create a place of comfort that is completely safe from intrusion. For the heaviest stuff to arise, you need to feel safe completely. If you’re uncertain what that feels like, quick fire a question to yourself “do I feel safe?” and if you get “no”, ask “why?” and the first thing your brain gives you is more likely than not, the truth.
This technique of self-dialogue is another way to get past the thoughts that are hiding things from you in aim of your designed self-protection — not the ideas that ‘really’ protect you, but the ideas you thought protected you when you coded these patterns years and years ago.
Once you have your safe zone for doing this, begin…
Breathing: In nose and Out is mouth. Mouth is left open about an inch throughout. Eyes are ideally closed. Visualizations are timed with breathing.
- Starting Breaths — First, breathe in and visualize the breath as white light in liquid gas form. As the white light comes in, visualize and feel it fill your body from bottom to top, like you’re a bottle. About 3 to 7 breaths should shift you considerably to start. Or you can do this until your body feels like a filled vessel.
- Observe The Discomforts — Now that you’re likely feeling a little buzzy, scan your body for the most potent arising physical sensation.
- Pick One And Spend A Moment With It — Now you’ve chosen a sensation, observe it’s qualities and sit with it, exploring the sensations briefly, like you’re appreciating qualities of a wine, pizza or fancy chocolate.
At this stage, it may change as you observe and give you a release (coughing, sneezing, watery mouth, phlegm, burp, crying, etc…). If you do, perform this process until it stops transforming.
- Send The Discomfort White Light — When the energy somewhat sticks around, visualize white light with the breath in, to fill the area of discomfort of that energy. Visualize the white light traveling to that area, in time with a SLOW breath in (breathe slower and deeper if you feel there’s a blockage that’s stubborn, as deeper slower breaths help deepen the connection).
When you breathe out, visualize the discomfort traveling up the breath from the place where it rests in the body. It may color itself a certain way in your minds eye, meaning you might have the in breath or out breath visualization naturally change color.
Trust it if it feels like your intuition guiding you (I’ll cover the mechanics of that in another post, but in short, you have your own internal software and language forming your intuition and the more you play with it, the more it develops).
- Focus, Relax and Remain Detached To An Outcome Of ‘Fixing’ — Be aware of urgency or aggressive impulses to change it and observe them without reaction and let them pass.
- Result — You will either progress and receive images tied to the memories or feelings that energy represents. Or releases through the mouth / nose / etc… Or lightening of the sensation with nothing else.
It varies pending your body and spirit’s state of readiness and safety to release the energy. Trust what you get and if you get the big release, great. If you get the light release, also great. It’s progress. Keep going or continue the effort another day.
- Additional note : ‘Havening’ during a heavy release — If you have a heavy release, sometimes we’re afraid to let it flow as part of us is afraid of re-traumatizing ourselves. If you feel a heavy wave coming, try ‘Havening’. This is a technique taught to me by Hazel Williams Carter. Simply do this — when a heavy energy arises, take your finger tips and gently pass them over your forehead slowly, from the center, outward to the sides. Then top to bottom over the cheeks. Then over the inner and outer forearms. It should feel very gentle, motherly and nurturing. You’ll notice that the heavy release energy shifts and flows, but with less violence. You will not subvert the energy release, rather you give it safety to transfer into its truest state and the energy to flow freely.
- Drink 2x the amount of water you normally would after this kind of work. From experience, emotional energy and emotional energy releases tend to accelerate dehydration the body. I do not have science to back this, just the continual observation of myself and others of this being a constant — my guess is that bioelectrical activity is increased and has a dehydrating effect on the body.
- If you had a heavy release, take the day slower than usual and give yourself half the tasks you would typically take on.
- Lastly, reduce exposure to anything intensely difficult emotionally, meaning hardcore horror movies, crime drama, or, you know… people who are challenging or triggering for you (parents and so on). Only for a few days. When you have a heavy release, your sensitivity escalates and it can sometimes make you feel like you’re going mad.
TECHNIQUE TWO : THE TONAL MEDITATION
Sound as a healing technique is recorded as having been popular in the early civilizations and is making a comeback. ‘Sound Bath meditation’ is a thing that tangibly changes your state. This technique allows you to give yourself a Sound Healing Meditation.
This technique was taught to me in two different forms. One was from Shaman Durek and the other from Daniel Coates. Both versions are solid. I tweaked mine based on the 7 Greek vowels, which work well for me. The tweaks on audio are down to what sound and variant of it connects you to feelings in the associated part of the body.
The tones seem to require the attention of the focused mind to direct where the area vibrates, as well as awareness of how the tone and breath feel in the body.
It’s entirely possible that the effects will be different across a those who are a natural tenor, baritone, falsetto or otherwise. I’ve shared the various versions for that reason. The underlying message, is “try these out and use what works for you”, or “vary the sounds to find your range.”
Daniel Coates also demonstrates his take on the technique in this video: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=PpfiVsCVsWU
One final note: If during the sound tonings you struggle with a particular area, that area likely contains a blockage. You can continue to work on that area with the tone and you will eventually feel lighter. If you’ve worked this technique correctly, you will feel like a buzzing tuning fork.
Sound healing on yourself tends to uplift rather than give you the deep energy clearing experience of Tech One, but for uplifting the self from a murky place, this is a great tool.
Here’s the version I use…
Setup : Get comfortable in a position you can stay relaxed in for around 20 minutes max. The key is to be able to stay in that relaxed position and hold a vocal tone. Put phone on do not disturb (the moon icon in iPhone) and on silent. Tell everyone to leave you alone. Or do this in the car during your commute; although this is suboptimal, it still works.
Repeat each tone 3 times. When you’ve practiced this to where you feel confident with it, you can increase the numbers that you tone.
- Focus — On the center of the scalp (Crown).
Tone — Aaaah — Like the “A” at the end of HA! But hold the tension of the throat at the back and you should feel the tingle on the top of your head.
- Focus — On the center of the forehead (Third Eye).
Tone — Eh — Like the bridge between the E and G in Egg. Ehhhhhhh. Hold the tone while focusing on the front center of your forehead. Tone should feel like it’s vibrating around the circumference of the throat, as it enters the mouth.
- Focus — The center of the throat (Throat Center)
Tone — Ayyyy — Like when Fonz would say “Ayyyyyyy”. Or how we articulate the letter “A” (if you never saw the ancient show Happy Days). Hold the tone at the front of your throat.
- Focus — The center of the chest (Heart Center)
Tone — Eeee — Like the end of “Bee”. Eeeeee. Should feel a vibration at the front of the central chest. Between the pectorals or breasts.
- Focus — The center of the solar plexus (Solar Center)
Tone — Orrrr — Like the bridging “Oh” sound between the R and T in ROT. Sort of like a sound we hear monks make. It’ll likely have bass and feel like the back of your lungs are vibrating too, possibly feeling like a gourd living in your body. Chances are you’ll naturally make a circular shape with your mouth and your solar plexus should vibrate in the center.
- Focus — Sacrum, aka the area under the navel by two inches and inward (The Sacral)
Tone — Youuuuuu — Like the “U” in “Ulysees” or Unicycle”. Youuuuuuu. Focus low down, below the navel.
- Focus — The tailbone (The Root)
Tone — Ouwww — Like the O in “O.M.G”. Or like you are articulating the letter “O” by how it is named.
- Focus — The entire spine (Spine)
Tone — The classic OHM. Sounds like “HOME” but said slowly and deeply. Feel the O, the bridge sound and the M all slowly roll together and hold the “Ummmm” at the end.
SO I TRIED THESE AND CLEARED SOME ENERGIES BUT NOW I’VE HIT A PLATEAU
This is common. Cycling new energy and techniques is a thing I’ve had to do to continue having shifts and evolving, as the energies — as per the model of intelligence driving them — adapt to survive and hide if they’re still seen or thought of as negative things.
The ultimate learning I’ve encountered on this journey — Your healing journey is your’s alone. No two are the same. Different tech will work well with you but not with another person. And to list every effective modality in one piece is way out of the scope I planned for this post (and it’s already hefty). That said, I will post more over time.
Key things to know : Your mind will have a different association energetically with certain colors. Your internal software will work differently to someone else’s. Part of your journey will be learning your own internal codes.
Trust your guidance toward what works for you. Learn how to distinguish gut feeling from fear reflex (some struggle with that at the start, as I did) and if it’s fear, make sure to check yourself so you can lovingly heal and transform that fear into wisdom for that precious exp.
Any questions or requests, feel free to ask.
Massive thanks go to Eric Oesterling, Michael Wilson, Mike Wilson (yes there’s two), Sofia Samrad, Jasmin Schweizer, Cory Lewis and Mark Smith for their feedback and extra eyeballs upon this formerly abundant typo obstacle course.