Spiritual Paths and Roller-Coaster Rides:
The Healing Crisis

Have you ever been in a situation in which you knew that you needed to change your way of living -- eating habits, lack of exercise, lack of sleep? Did you put it off and put it off until you finally found yourself run-down, exhausted, depressed (or perpetually anxious)?

Have you ever put off or permanently shelved a passionate desire because it wasn't "sensible," "realistic," because its fulfillment would threaten your need for security and stability?

Have you avoided a major change because you thought that you would suffer in the process of change?

Life in the Rut

Fear of change, of giving up the familiar for the unknown, is probably the most common fear around. Women stay in bad -- and even dangerous -- marriages. People stay at dead-end jobs and cling to obsolete habits, relationships, and beliefs.

All too often, it takes a crisis to initiate change. The alcoholic who wakes up in jail may find the strength to ask for help. When her children are threatened the abused woman finds courage and resources she wouldn't have imagined she had. The employee who has put up with everything else is one day asked to do something which violates his/her ethical standards and suddenly discovers the ability to imagine and act on new possibilities.

Under such circumstances change is wrenching and traumatic. How much easier if one can find courage, strength, and decisiveness before the crisis occurs.

It can happen; in fact, this is what crystals and flower essences are all about.

I don't pretend that working with them guarantees a totally trauma-free transition from limitation to possibility. I do believe, however, that traumas can be minimized, and that any crisis which occurs will be a healing one.

Crisis On Demand

If, for example, you decide to take Mimulus (Bach) for the fear of change (Mimulus is generally recommended for known fears) and work with obsidian (which will help to surface emotions you'd prefer to keep well buried) you may experience an internal crisis.

You may realize just how afraid you are of changing your career. This fear may look so big to you that you might think you'll never be able to overcome it.

Fortunately, you don't have to overcome it. Think of it this way. You are here; your future life is there. Between you and your future is a big clump of dense energy, rather like a blockage in a drain.

When you have a plumbing blockage you don't try to overcome it; you flush it out or dissolve it. This is what flower essences and crystals do. In so doing they bring certain debris to the surface (such as unacknowledged fears). They look big; then they float away.

They look big in part because you have made a commitment to deal with them. If you say, "I'm going to deal with fear," you may find that every fear you ever had will confront you.

In essence, when you say, "I'm getting rid of this" your mind gives you a list of everything you need to get rid of. If you are like me and don't like long lists it may be difficult for you to appreciate how helpful this cataloging function is.

Remember that your commitment is bigger than this list. Also remember that however difficult dealing with this feels you have the advantage of meeting it at a conscious level and of being able to deal with it before a crisis hits in the external world. Realize as well that the nice thing about this list is that you can deal with it one item at a time.

Finally, there is no substitute for the feeling of accomplishment one experiences upon having successfully released an emotional or physical habit and created space for growth. On days when we feel like failures we can brighten our spirits by reminding ourselves of our success. Our accomplishment will also give us the confidence to look at other areas of our lives which trouble us and to decide that we have the power to change them as well.

Clearing the Path

Instead of plunging into change you can address your emotional obstacles. For example:

For fear you can work with rhodochrosite, and emotionally calm yourself with amethyst. You can take the Bach Flower Remedies Mimulus (for known fears) or Aspen (for unknown fears).

For feeling incapable of successfully launching change work with citrine and smoky quartz. The related Bach Flower Remedy is Larch.

For overwhelm you can work with sodalite for left/right brain balance and moonstone for emotional balance. Elm is the Bach Flower Remedy recommended for this.

Healing Helpers

If you feel you need help in bringing emotions to the surface, work with malachite, lapis, and obsidian. Any crystal taken in gem essence form may initiate a healing crisis.

If the crisis is well underway I recommend crystals which share the ability of promoting energy flow. Smoothly flowing energy helps to dissolve the blockages which prevent growth and aids in the release of negativity on all levels.

Smoky quartz helps us to manifest our desires and reinforces self-confidence. Black tourmaline is useful for its ability to deflect negativity. Blue lace agate soothes the throat chakra, assisting us in asking for help when we need it.

Other stones are specific for certain conditions. Amethyst has been used for a very long time for alcohol abuse. Those who have used it for other forms of substance abuse have also reported success. Keep a rhodochrosite for anxiety.

While whichever Bach Flower Remedies are appropriate for your particular needs will assist you in changing, there are several which will help you to ease the process. Crab Apple works as a physical detoxifier, as well as protecting those who are over-sensitive to the energies of others. Gentian is helpful for discouragement, Gorse for hopelessness, Sweet Chestnut for anguish and despair.

Rescue Remedy is the most effective, all-purpose remedy. It consists of Rock Rose (for terror) Cherry Plum (for seemingly uncontrollable desires), Star of Bethlehem (for shock), Clematis (for the desire to escape physical existence), and Impatiens (for impatience). It has guided many people through rough spots in the healing crisis, and can be especially soothing if six drops are placed in bath water.

It is also available in a cream (with Crab Apple added). Though the cream is most often used for cuts, bruises, burns, and skin ailments, we have found that, when rubbed on the solar plexus area, it can relieve anxiety or digestive problems, while when rubbed on the forehead it may help headaches.

This, Too, Shall Pass

The most effective assistant you can call on is the power of your own mind. Remind yourself that whatever you're going through is just something you're going through. Affirm that it is just a temporary condition, and that you'll come out of it feeling better than ever.

Repeat additional affirmations, designed for the particular situation with which you are dealing. Say them to yourself, say them out loud, write them down.

Deep breathing exercises will help to relieve the stress and anxiety you may be feeling. Beginning either at the head or the feet, feel your breath flowing smoothly through your body, dissolving all fear and negativity. Meditation can also help to restore you to a calmer mood and sense of purpose.

This is no time to keep your feelings in. When I lived in New York City I felt that since there were so few places where one could shout and scream without being carted away that screaming rooms for rent would be a good idea. Until someone implements this idea I recommend pillow-pounding, aerobic exercise, and speaking the truth.

If a subject someone brings up makes you feel anxious say so. (However, if six months have gone by, and you still don't want to discuss a problem in a relationship, examine the possibility that honesty has turned into manipulation.) Those who are truly your friends and want to support your desire to change will accept your candor. About the others, the less said the better.

Cry. This is one of the best stress relievers and emotional (and physical) detoxifiers I know. No one is too old to cry, or too male, or too dignified, or too in control. Let go. The fewer burdens you carry at this time, the better.

Healing Crisis: Healing Journey

As we work at dissolving more of the habits, emotions, and beliefs which have limited our ability to live the lives of our dreams we find ourselves becoming more clear and focused about what we really want for ourselves. As we learn to follow our own instincts, wishes, thoughts, and desires, the healing crisis becomes a healing journey.

Articles in the Healing Series

These articles are in no particular order. Choose the one that first gets your attention.

<Introduction to the Healing Series
Finding Your Peaceful Center Stress is a known cause of illness. Crystals, essences, and other tools can reduce it.
Mental-Emotional Balance: Where Healing Begins Anguish, guilt, anger, and impatience can lead to illness.
You the Healer Believe in yourself and allow the healing to happen
To Your Health: Talk to your body, and listen, too.
Thinking Our Way to Health Sometimes our beliefs get in the way of healing.
You the Patient Going to a practitioner for advice doesn't mean giving up your intuition and ability to heal yourself.
The Healing Crisis It can be a rough ride. Some suggestions for smoothing the bumps.
Beyond the Rainbow
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