In November, 2003, a colleague who'd never read the following article urged me to feature it again in this newsletter. So I am. To your health!
Last November I developed an inexplicable pain in my leg. On the infrequent occasions when pain visits my body it usually lodges in my lower back, rearranging my discs and strumming the sciatic nerve. My daily Reiki self-treatments have considerably diminished the frequency of these incidents , but as the days went by the mysterious leg pain responded neither to Reiki nor to hot baths.
"Stupid leg," I would mutter silently as I bent down to put a box into the car for the daily post office run. As I hobbled up and down the stairs I cursed my traitorous appendage.
I found myself thinking beliefs I thought I'd abandoned long ago.
This is part of aging, I assured myself in tones of deepest gloom. Day by day my body is deteriorating. I should move to a one-floor house, move to Florida. I can't do the things I used to be able to do.
As I continued to feed myself these cheerless thoughts my leg grew worse. I was forgetting everything I knew and wrote about and taught - that physical imbalances begin and are maintained with thoughts and feelings.
You've probably noticed that people often become sick after a period of depression, anxiety, stress, or following a major shock or trauma. Think of when you've been depressed, and you may remember that your thoughts, your emotions, and even your physical body feels heavy. That heaviness is a slowing down and sometimes a blockage of the maintaining and renewing energy that keeps you in balance on all levels.
Anxiety has the opposite effect, causing adrenaline rushes, quickened heartbeat, and other speeded-up body functions. Stress creates a mental and emotional tightness and resistance which often manifests in physical tenseness. Energy has all it can do to move through you.
Trauma can create a feeling of tremendous vulnerability which the being tries to prevent by producing numbness. When we are numb it also feels as if energy isn't moving at all.
How we think has everything to do with the above conditions. Animals don't worry about something which isn't actually happening. A rabbit doesn't think, "One of these nights an owl is going to swoop down and kill me." Dogs and cats don't visualize empty food bowls. Animals in general don't overwork themselves so that they can be considered worthy creatures.
They don't have those kinds of minds. We do. We imagine the future as a present reality, and when we do this we create the emotions which are consistent with what we imagine. It's helpful to imagine the future as happening now when we're visualizing our dreams coming true, not so useful when we're living our nightmares.
One of the reasons we become in physical imbalance is because we don't realize how our thoughts affect our body, that mental states can cause - and cure - physical ones. A majority of religious and medical belief systems train people to view their minds and bodies as separate entities.
If we are intellectual beings we may view our mental creations as far superior to the awkward arrangements of flesh and bones which house our great minds. If we are working on our spiritual development we may resist and resent our bondage to the physical dimension, as represented by that same body and seek to suppress its desires.
Returning to balance involves consciously reconnecting to the body and listening to the messages which its problems and pains are trying to give us.
A way which I've used to do this is to talk to my body. This can be done either silently in meditation or in the form of writing.
When I do this I suspend disbelief; I'm open to the idea that my body is willing to communicate with me. As an example, here's a recent conversation I had with my right leg.
Me: You're causing me a lot of pain. What do you have to say for yourself?
Leg: You sit too long at the computer, and I'm trying to tell you to stop doing it so long and do some other things. It would do you a lot of good to meditate more, for example. (I privately acknowledge that this is good advice, but am still angry at my leg.)
Me: So why do you have to tell me by hurting me?
Leg: Because otherwise you don't listen.
Me: Listen, leg, if I do what you say will you stop hurting? You don't have to punish me like this.
Leg: Maybe I do. Maybe it's just your idea that it's punishment Who's punishing you?
Me: You are, and it hurts.
Leg: Because you're getting very tense about it. You're worrying that something bigger is wrong. You're envisioning yourself in a wheelchair.
(This leg is just too smart.)
Leg: And you won't ask for help. You could ask people to send healing energy to you.
Me: I thought about that.
Leg: But you'd rather do it yourself.
Me: Well, yes, I would, but you have a point. Wanting to do it myself is a kind of resistance which causes pain.
Leg: I might let up on you, after all.
Me: Okay, I'm going to ask for the healing. Do we have an agreement now?
Leg: I'll do my part. And don't chain yourself to that computer.
I learned a lot from my leg: that it was time to make time for other activities in my life, especially meditation, which I'd neglected. It was a message to lighten up.
Perhaps more important, I realized that even though I was active in two online healing groups I was reluctant to ask for healing for myself, and that resistance created a certain bodily tension.
I did ask for--and received--healing, I began to spend less time at the computer, and I resumed regular meditation, which has had benefits far beyond alleviation of pain.
I also learned a valuable lesson about appreciating my body and thanking it for the many services it performs for me, all of which fall into the category of keeping me alive and healthy. I've begun to take time to thank it.
I may stop in the middle of eating and say, "Thank you, body, for helping me to enjoy food." I might look at a spectacular sunset and say, "Thank you, eyes." When I give myself my daily Reiki treatment I show my appreciation for the energy I feel flowing beneath my hands.
I believe that we're here in physical existence not to escape our bodies, but to enjoy them, to appreciate the abilities they give us to take pleasure in the world around us. Like our bodies that world doesn't have to be a prison; when we open our senses and hearts to it it can be for us an earthly paradise.
Although all stones have some relationship to the physical body I am focusing on those which specifically relate to the root or first chakra. The first chakra governs the extent to which we are grounded in the physical world: our connection to and appreciation of physical existence, including our bodies; the degree to which we feel secure in our bodies and our existence, the extent to which we feel ourselves part of the world of nature.
Hematite, a silvery-gray stone composed of iron oxide, helps us to deepen the connection between spirit and body, and keep us grounded both in our sense of self and in our purpose.
Smoky quartz, a stone which is simultaneously dark and translucent, helps to channel spiritual energy into the first chakra, thus helping to root us as spiritual beings on the physical plane. It can also help to restore one's confidence about working with the laws of physical existence for the purpose of manifesting one's intentions and purpose.
Tiger's eye teaches the importance of patience and timing in working with physical laws. It also assists us in recognizing the inner resources we can use to accomplish our goals.
Red jasper is considered by many Native tribes to represent the Earth itself.
You can also find expanded descriptions of Hematite, tiger's eye, smoky quartz, and obsidian at http://www.rainbowcrystal.com/crystal/gem/gem.html
Clematis is the primary Bach Flower Remedy for grounding. Those who need it are indifferent to physical existence and the needs of their bodies. They prefer to live in the world of imagination. They are often very creative, but are unable to manifest their creations. Clematis acts as a bridge between mental and physical existence which allows them to experience and express the connections between both worlds.
Those who need Manzanita (FES) are not indifferent to, but are repulsed by their bodies and/or feel that physical existence is vastly inferior to the world of spirit. They may practice rigid rituals of bodily denial. Those with eating disorders may also be helped by this flower essence, which, in general, promotes a deepened appreciation of the body as the temple of the spirit.
Self-Heal (FES) restores the mind-body connection in a slightly different way, one which helps people to realize
that they can be the source of their physical well-being. It helps those who have become discouraged about their
ability to be well, and stimulates the subtle healing forces whose activation can help to restore balance.
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.