Being Comfortable in the “New Normal”

Being Comfortable in the “New Normal”

Have you found your way to being comfortable in the ‘new normal’? The dreadful onset of the pandemic is now well over a year behind us. It’s a given that we’ve had to find a way to move on with our lives. Significant changes in our habits, including health and safety practices, are well-embedded in our daily routines by now. But for many, the inner recovery of the sense of ‘normal’ is yet to come. This brings the question, how do we find our way to being comfortable…. without anxiety, fear, or hard shells of separation…. in this ever-changing, world of the ‘new normal’?

Recognize your own mental, emotional, and physical stances.  How are you holding yourself during your day, or when you go out into the closer proximity of others?

If you’re like me, you might find that you’ve been holding a subtle, leftover stance of being extra guarded. Perhaps your body language is closed down, or you are on an intensified alert mentally, even though the threat has been pushed back by vaccination and social distancing. Is your breathing shallow and tight? Do you find yourself looking away from others, or being exhausted after being in public, such as going to the grocery store? How is your deeper emotional stance? Is there lingering fear, anxiety or stress?  If so, please understand it is perfectly normal. And, the first step to releasing this defensive and energy-draining stance, is recognition

The effects of chronic stress, such as subtle fears and anxieties normal to a pandemic threat, are detrimental to our well being. This unresolved stress settles into every fiber, both in the physical and subtle realms. By recognizing the patterns we hold in our mind, heart, and body, the choice and power of holding or releasing them becomes ours.

Release and relax! Bring your attention to the over-worked, inner guard and allow yourself to consciously relax your stance. By all means, practice safety protocols, but recognize when the stress response is NOT needed, and make a practice of releasing tension and relaxing your stance to bring new energy and vitality into your being.

Here’s a few tips to get you started in releasing and over-guarded stance causing stress or tension.

Mental Stance- Reframe your thinking. NOTICE what your thoughts are, or even the energy behind the thoughts. What are they saying in the background? Is there a newsreel of unsettling information causing a fight or flight alert in the deeper part of the brain?

 Reframe fear-based, or anxiety provoking thinking with reassuring thoughts.  I am safe. I am secure. All is well. 

By creating positive self-talk and affirmations, we reassure our deeper brain that all is well and begin to relax our inner landscape. Have you tried talking to your inner self as you would a dear child you loved, and explain the new situation?

“I know there has been a very real threat, and that you’ve been uncomfortable and afraid. It’s ok. I’m here for you. We’re taking all the precautions we can and are being very safe in the world.” In this way, take a few minutes to lovingly speak to your mind and offer reassurance. It may seem odd to do, but give it a try. You might feel a deep sigh of relief!

Emotional Stance- Allow yourself to FEEL your feelings. It is NORMAL to have a huge range of uncomfortable feelings in regard to a global threat, and just because we’re acting with the best scientific information available doesn’t mean we feel good about the situation. Of course there are feelings. But by squashing down the feelings because we KNOW better, we perpetuate and give them strength. In turn, this takes up our energy, and causes a low-grade stress. Also, feelings which are suppressed do not go away, but tend to grow stronger.

When feelings arise, practice a few deep breaths, exhaling long to release held emotions. 

Also, please share your feelings with a trusted loved one. Sometimes we don’t want to bother with feelings when we rationally “know better.” But again, this is not a good strategy. By sharing what’s happening inside we often find that others are also going through similar feelings, and gain both the support and release needed to move forward freely.

You’re not alone! Although many of us have been in various degrees of isolation, most of us have experienced a kind of emotional trauma at the subtle level. The pandemic trauma response is real, and there are many resources now available online. Here’s a helpful article. If you find yourself struggling with emotions such as lingering anxiety and fear, please seek help. Every one of us has been hit by this global threat, whether directly affected or not. Every one of us deserves the care, comfort, and release of the trauma induced emotions, whether overt or subtle.

We must be kind and gentle to ourselves to  let go of as much of the trauma as we can in order to get comfortable with the new normal way of being, and move forward with our lives.

Physical Stance- How’s your posture? Are your shoulders up by your ears? Are you holding back breathing fully? Is your head hunched forward over your neck, scanning back and forth to check for threats? You may laugh, but notice if this kind of subtle body language is happening! Perhaps there is a clenched jaw or abdomen. Even while writing this, I noticed tension in the back of the neck as I got in touch with my own sense of physical security in the world.

Our bodies EMbody our mental stance and feelings. Conversely, by relaxing the body, we can release mental-emotional build up.

Practice watching your body stance and posture to see if it’s preparing for fight or flight. Stretch and move regularly throughout the day. Combine mindfulness and a deep clearing breath, and get out in nature every day! Studies on Japanese Forest Bathing show us that even 15 minutes of quality nature time during the day has remarkably positive health effects.

Simply taking time to stop and BE in the nature all around us deeply promotes our well-being. Breathing in a few moments of noticing the colors of the sky, the dance of the trees, or even a dandelion in the side walk,  soothes our systems and brings us into the present, healing moment.

Allowing ourselves to recognize and begin to release the embedded, protective stances in our mental, emotional, and physical being brought about by the global pandemic is a vital step to recovering a sense of comfort in the new normal of our world. While we do want to take care and protect ourselves and our loved ones, we must also be mindful of how much we may holding ourselves on high alert. By bringing our loving attention to these aspects of our being, we can shift our experience from any lingering sense of dread to a more expanded, relaxed, and comfortable way of being in this world. This attention and care to our own stance of being will both welcome and help ourselves and others in becoming comfortable with the “new normal”, where we can be simply grateful for being.

Love.

Love.

Imagine if you could magically step out of time and look back over your own lifetime. Which memories would rise, like rainbow-skinned soap bubbles, and float into your heart’s view?

Certainly the most poignant memories we have revolve around love. Feeling love, finding love, expressing love, losing love. When we are most in touch with life, the things we love, and those we love come sharply into view. And if you have had experiences that bring life and death into clear view, you too must feel that all that really matters the most, undoubtedly, is Love.

So what then, is love?

According to Merriam-Webster, to love is to hold dear, to cherish, to feel affection for, and to take pleasure in. For each of us, love holds its own meaning. So much has been said about love! Love is all. Love unites us. Love Heals. Love is all there is. Love is a many splendored thing. Indeed, love is probably the most mysterious, all pervasive, and multi-faceted treasure of our existence. What is love to you?

Love is the whole thing. We are only the pieces. -Rumi

When I was younger, before my first child was born, I thought I knew all about love. I loved deeply, and consider myself quite loving. If you would’ve asked me then, I would’ve told you that I knew all about love. When my first daughter was born, it had been a very difficult birth. But eventually, this swaddling baby was put into my arms. As I drew her close, and turned my head to first look up on her face, my entire universe literally exploded. A greater, more expansive love than I had ever imagined possible came over me, permanently changing the experience of life as I knew it. The love I’d known before was like a tiny egg whose shell had just cracked open into the light of a million suns, shining in the unending vastness of the Universe.

man facinggolden sun with arms open wide

Another time, when both my daughters were in their twenties, I was attending an Irish music event in Santa Fe with my two bandmates. We were seated in the highest balcony, looking down over the hall, enjoying the music. A slow feeling of pressure started to build up in my chest as I watched. At first I tried to ignore it, but it persisted. My breathing became rapid, and the squeezing feeling got worse. I began to panic as my heart started pounding. A shooting pain went down my arm, and I thought, “Oh my God, is this it? Am I having a heart attack?”

Fear escalated intensely, and just as it reached its peak, time stopped. I rose above myself, and could see myself sitting there, and hear the music in the distant background. I was keenly aware. Then tears began to flow down my face. I saw the faces of my beloved daughters, and then, one by one, faces of those I’d loved in my life appeared briefly. All I could think was, “Wait! Have I accomplished what I needed to? I haven’t got it right yet! Would my life matter? Did my girls know how much I loved them?”

Still immobile, in an altered state, I heard a benevolent voice. It assured me that not only my daughters, but everyone I’d loved, would absolutely know that I loved them. Somehow an inner knowing began to bubble up, replacing my fear. I knew with certainty that I definitely had loved. In fact, I had loved wholeheartedly, with a ferocity of conviction.

In that moment, I was assured that my life had been complete, because I had truly loved.

The doctors later said my symptoms were a complication of too much thyroid medication and exhaustion, not a heart attack. But in truth, my heart had been opened to a deeper appreciation and compassion for my own self.

These are but two beautiful bubbles of memories that rise when I look back over my life to think about what’s been most important. By the grace of God-Universe, I have been shown again and again that love itself is beyond my limited definition. It continues to expand in ever greater magnificence beyond the scope of words. It is there to hold me and reassure me in the most fearful of times. Love gives complete meaning to my life. I am finally learning to turn that love inside myself, and accept it. For 40 years I heard the wisdom from my Teacher that God lives within. That God manifests as myself. “Go inside and love yourself,” she said.

On this day honoring St. Valentine, I send this question out into the Universe as an act of…. love. So, I ask you again, whatever day this is for you:

What sweet memories of love arise when you look back at your own life from the place of deep stillness and compassion? Which lessons from love will you cherish and share?

I invite you to reflect on the gifts of love as you know it. Perhaps you will feel moved to write your experiences, as I’ve shared here? Or to sing, or dance, or laugh, or play. Perhaps you will offer your work with a lighter heart when you remember how much Love, loves you.

Wherever you are, whenever this is, I wish you Love.

All Blessings & Love,

Jeannie Arunimā

P.S. If you or someone you love wishes to develop more self-compassion and more self-love, please feel free to talk to me about strategies and practices that I’ve found really helpful! Schedule a FREE Welcome Call with me any time. You are a magnificent, unique manifestation of Love! Unveil this Truth, my friend!

My Saving Grace

My Saving Grace

The greatest treasure I have found in life is learning to turn within to experience the healing balm of the Innermost Self.

Universal Consciousness. The Divinity within. Inner Peace. God’s Grace. Whatever we wish to call it, I am pointing to the wellspring of existential, divine, inherent grace which resides at the very depth of our human existence. The place of our truest being, inner substance, or essential source. The treasure I’m talking about is the experience of learning how to turn within. In a word, it’s called meditation.

Sages, mystics, and saints from across world cultures and religions have written and taught volumes about this one practice… meditation. Christian mystic, Thomas Merton, spoke of it as the Centering Prayer. Zen students sit in “emptiness,” and Islamic and Jewish practices include spiritual practices of turning within.

Modern yoga practices are based on the ancient Yoga Sutras of Patanjali, a great sage from a millennium past, whose verses teach of meditation (dhyana) as, the stilling of the thought waves in the mind.

Quite prevalent across our modern society, “Mindfulness” practice is making its way into education, business, advertisements, and everyday life. Even the renowned Mayo Clinic, promotes mindfulness meditation for its healing benefits.

Perhaps it is best summed up by the Muslim, poet-saint Malwānā Rumi, who was quoted to have said, “Christian, Jew, Muslim, shaman, Zoroastrian, stone, ground, mountain, river, each has a secret way of being with the mystery, unique and not to be judged.”2

Meditation is perhaps my #1 “tool” and saving grace to live a life of connectedness, health, and blessings. Even more important, is that it’s available to everyone!

In his book, Meditate, the much beloved Siddha Yoga Guru, Baba Muktananda, explained that meditation was as natural as sleep to the human being. In order to access it, we have to learn to turn our attention within. Despite the fact that most of us in western culture were never taught how to actually meditate, the truth is that every one of us can learn to go within.

The BEST TOOL I’ve ever learned for immediate relief, composure, centering, and more, is ALSO the most simple and natural entry point for meditation. All it requires is our attention.

sweet child with eyes closed in backdrop of cosmos

The most natural “tool” to turn within is our very own breath.

Near and dear, the most precious of friends, the breath is a magnificent and wonderful treasure available to each and every one of us alive today. It is our connection to existence, here and now.

Breathing in, we are accepting the gift of life in the form of oxygen, sunlight, and prana (energy).

Breathing out, we share our presence in the here-now, ready to accept the next breath anew.

With this simple action of respiration, we acknowledge our participation in the great play of life.

In my study of yoga and meditation, I learned that when the breath becomes steady and even, we begin to naturally experience a state of calmness, presence, and inner peacefulness. By learning to make the in breath and outgoing breath the same length, we naturally begin to turn within. And this is the first step in cultivating a meditation practice. Breathing.

By watching the breath, even for a moment, we begin to tune in to an inner wellspring that offers immediate renewal and calm.

Through repeated practice, our minds begin to enjoy the feeling of going within, and we are naturally drawn to repeat actions that feel good! By cultivating a loving relationship with our own breath, we begin to cultivate a practice of turning within.

All it takes is one breath.

Try this whenever you have need of solace, healing, calmness, or comfort.

Simply stop, for just a moment, and turn your attention to your own breath. Watch the miracle of life as it unfolds naturally, easefully, and of its own accord.

Breathe in deeply and exhale fully, one, two, or three times, watching the breath rise and fall with your full attention. Then allow your breath to return to it’s own, gentle pattern.

Notice how it feels, or how it affects your body and inner state. Is there a sense of relaxation, reset, or renewal, even just a tiny morsel?

Finish with a little smile for giving yourself just a moment to breathe, and consider this old Tasmanian proverb, “Little by little, a little becomes a lot!”

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A final thought. A dear friend and Speech and Language Pathologist used to teach my special needs students that we could actually make a mental “Note to Self” (imagine pointer finger touching side of forehead), to remind ourselves of something important at anytime and anywhere. So, let us make a note! Say this out loud with me:

Note to Self…….. Remember to BREATHE!

And for just that one little moment, anywhere, anytime, we can bathe ourselves in the loving, magnificent rejuvenation of our own Inner Being.

All it takes is one breath.

The breath is our own treasure for life. It can comfort and restore well-being. Allow it to carry you through all the days to come, with deep joy and equanimity. Namasté!

All blessings and love,

Jeannie Arunimā

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Note to Reader: If you or a dear one would like more information on learning meditation and mindfulness strategies, you are most welcome to contact me here.

Or, you may sign up for a free consultation to talk about your journey, and talk about further resources for practice and study. Often in the course of healing sessions, clients learn strategies for turning within, along with guided meditation for stress relief, relaxation, and transformational self-healing.

Footnotes:

All references are hyper-linked to original source. For a list of references and further resources for meditation, please email me at jeannie.goldenlifehealing.com.

end blog

Witness Consciousness Relieves Negativity

Witness Consciousness Relieves Negativity

Can you remember the last time you found yourself stuck in a funk, feeling down? Did you notice a litany of accompanying thoughts, perhaps familiar old tapes? Perhaps you’ve experienced the seemingly endless mental quagmire of a negative, disgruntled story that’s so hard to shake? If so, try leveraging the power of witness consciousness into your daily experience.

As human beings, we have the capacity to observe our thoughts. We have an awareness that is not limited to just thinking words in our minds. In the study of meditation, this is referred to as witness consciousness.

Welcome to the fascinating workings of the human mind!  Indeed, the mind is a prolific thinker, generating thoughts, ideas, opinions…. sometimes around the clock! What a marvel! What a beast! But, where would we be without it? Fortunately, our mind is so much greater than just the thoughts we think. How do we know? Simple! Because we have the ability to observe-notice-witness that we are thinking!

If we can know and witness that we are thinking, then we naturally have the leverage to choose what we think about! This is the first step in flipping negative thinking into a positive mind set, which can uplift our entire experience of life.

Witness consciousness, or being the observer, is the human ability to witness thoughts, emotions, and inner states without being ensnared in the experience. Being able to stand it the place of the watcher of what is happening in our thoughts is the key to learning how to transform struggle into peacefulness.

Consider the following example.

Suddenly, a wave of deep sadness, depression, or anxiety arises from inside. How do you react? What does your mind talk say? Perhaps, like many of us, you get caught up in a wave of inner dialogue that goes something like this, “Oh no! Not this again. I hate this feeling. Why does it keep happening? What’s wrong with me? I’m so tired of this feeling! I’ll never feel better!” And on it goes.

As you can imaging, this kind of mental litany begets a downward spiral, even deeper into the depths of sadness and despair. It’s like a snowball rolling down the steep slope, gaining size and momentum as it rolls. However, when we begin to train our minds to watch these negative statements with an observer’s perspective, it provides us a greater vantage point from which we can avoid being unwittingly ensnared by a negative spiral of thoughts.

The amazingly good, and seemingly unbelievable news is, that we DO have power to observe, and therefore change, our mental talk! We can use witness consciousness to bring about peace of mind.

As an unbiased witness, we make observation, neutral comments. “Oh, there’s sadness.” “I see it.” “Huh, sadness.” The simple distance gained by observing the thought, instead of leaping to judgements and conclusions, drastically  alters the negative emotional impact.

By taking the stance of the witness a healthy pause is created, giving us the opportunity to choose how we would like to frame our thinking about the feeling or thought which has arisen. 

When we practice noticing what we are thinking, we can lovingly and gently reframe negative thoughts into more positive and hopeful ones. This gives us the power to immensely improve how we are feeling! Developing the healthy tool of witness consciousness offers us immediate relief and freedom from the snares and emotional pain created by negative thought patterns.

So, the next time you find yourself feeling down and out, become the witness and notice what thought patterns are running in your mind. By simply watching them, you gain distance, and have the choice to create a thought to uplift yourself instead!

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Try this Challenge: Watch the Watcher

While witness consciousness is often taught in the context of meditation, it doesn’t need to be limited to sitting time. Like all skills, practicing little by little adds up to a lot! Try this short exercise and see how it feels. Engage in these questions by reading the question, then pausing to close your eyes and bring your full awareness to answer the question.

Can you identify where your attention is directed?

1. Who is looking through your eyes right now to read these word? Can you turn your vision around to see the looker?

2. What do you hear right now? Who is it that is listening through your ears? Can you observe the listener listening? 

3. What are you thinking right now? Who is it that sees the thoughts in your own mind, the one that knows you are thinking?

When contemplating any of these questions, did you get a sense of being the witness?  Did you experience a mental lift or slightly different perception than usual? Keep contemplating! What question gives you a glimpse of seeing the seer?

As we continue to develop the skill of witness consciousness, we gain the ability to hold a healthy distance from negative thought patterns, and build a deeper peacefulness in our own experience of life.


If you find yourself beset by ongoing, negative thought patterns, or would like to learn more about meditation practices to create mental peacefulness, please contact me for a free inquiry call to see if Golden Life Healing services could be helpful for you.


For further reading

1 Poem on Witness Consciousness by Gurumayi Chidvilasananda

2 Exposé on Witness Consciousness by Dr. H.K. Luthar

3 Yoga International: Become Your Own Inner Witness

Hopelessness & Recognition

Hopelessness & Recognition

                                                 Hopelessness is an alert beacon and a natural human response.

 

Recognition Brings us Power to Heal

 

Have you been faced with persistent pain, symptoms, or illness? Or perhaps a situation that’s really gotten you down? Has your sense hopefulness or happiness been compromised by a persistent difficulty that’s not resolving as you wish? Hopelessness is an alert beacon, and a natural human response.

 

At this critical time on our planet, everyone’s lives have come under a dark cloud of persistent stress. With the threat of a deadly virus, the absurd political situation in the U.S., and the extreme economic repercussions felt by so many, the resulting mental and emotional effects are similar to those who suffer from long term pain or illness.

 

In both cases, regardless of the cause or severity, chronic stressors can easily result in a deep sense of hopelessness and loss, bringing about a spiral of emotions, diminished energy, loss of sleep, and even physical symptoms.

 

Hopelessness can lead to loss of joy, deep depression, and cause us to even question if being on Earth is what we want to do. This reaction is a completely normal human response. However, when there is an ongoing persistence of hopelessness, this is truly a call to action. What can we do about it? Start at the beginning.

 

Recognize it.

 

The first step in finding a solution is seeing the problem. Simple as it sounds, it’s actually not always apparent to those suffering from stress-inducing situations exactly what is going on inside. Life may appear “normal,” and seem like everything is basically “fine.”

 

I recently experienced this anew. When the pandemic first began, I buckled down like everyone else, invigorated my spiritual practices, and kept abreast of the breaking news. After a few weeks of repeating horror stories, I distanced myself from social media in order to create a bubble for my mind to find some peace. Instead I turned to reading titles and captions, to get the gist, before delving into journalistic sensationalism and public fear mongering, both which exacerbated an already critical situation, and played havoc with my nervous system. This worked really well, and I was able to find a balance between current events and being able to live daily life in order to try and make a difference.

 

Recently, I visited my daughter who is very active in social justice and the current political climate. She views engagement with current news feeds as a civic responsibility, and as a measure of safety in being aware of what’s happening. While I applaud her stance, it brought me back into the daily details of the crisis, upfront and personal. Over the visit, we spoke about much of the absurdities and suffering due to current world events, and how hard it was for humanity.

 

Without my realizing it, delving back into the disturbing details brought about an insidious inner anxiety, fear, and unrest , similar to that which occurred at the beginning of the pandemic. But I didn’t recognize it at first. I pushed it away. It seemed that my life was the new “normal” and I was certainly “fine.” I had work, loved ones, health, food. All was “well” and I was grateful.

 

Never-the-less, there was a growing sense of unrest within. Over the week, I began to doubt myself. I felt myself losing courage. Eventually, hopelessness arose. At first, I ignored it. When it persisted, I rationalized it away, explaining to myself why I shouldn’t feel it. Finally, I fought with it, arguing that I knew better than to feel this way. But it still didn’t go away. (I knew better tactics for handling emotions, but apparently had forgotten.)

 

After a solid week of trying to ignore and push away the hopelessness, like an unnoticed water leak flooding the basement, it seeped into my entire being.

 

Fortunately, I have a dear friend who knows me so well, that even when I won’t admit something to myself, she is able to draw it to the surface where we can look at it together, in the light of loving awareness. Empowered to express the recent feeling of hopelessness and self-doubt, I was able to recognize it for what it was. I was overwhelmed by unrecognized stressors. She quoted a member of her church who coined it beautifully, “I feel like I’m living in the most beautiful nightmare.” Everything appears fine on the outside, but there remains the nightmarish reality of the global pandemic, threatening everyone.

 

I realized my feelings were a valid reaction to the pandemic and political-social devastation going on in our world. It was a perfectly normal human response.

 

By pushing the feelings away, I had not given myself the opportunity to really validate and understand where they were coming from. I thought it was about me. My exposure to the detailed news, and discussions with my daughter, had elicited a normal human response. But I didn’t recognize it for what it was, so I was unable to resolve it. Having this important conversation with my dear friend helped me to put hopelessness into a larger perspective. I was able to accept the emotion, integrate it into my being, and stop blaming myself for feeling some way I didn’t think I was supposed to.

 

Recognizing the problem was the first step to the solution. In this case, my emotions reset just with the simple recognition and sharing, and the hopelessness dissolved. At other times, deeper work may well be needed, along with outside support.

 

In chronic disease and persistent stress, it is only natural for our human selves to experience mental and emotional distress. But when that distress turns to hopelessness and persists, it is time to reach in and reach out to fully recognize what it happening.

 

Hopelessness is an alert beacon, a warning sign, and natural human response. It offers us a chance to turn around and take stock of what’s happening, inside and out. When we fully face these kinds of warning beacons, and allow ourselves to enlist help of others, we can move forward into a greater sense of peaceful acceptance even amidst the suffering in our world.

 

Recognition. To “re-cognize,” “re-think,” or “put into a new order.” It is the act of turning within to deeply consider and realize what is actually happening, and that has been known before; a kind of waking up.

 

Recognition brings us power to heal. Identifying the problem is the first step to solving it.

 

May we each experience the powerful grace of recognition to guide us through unexpected storms.

 

All Blessings & Love,

 

Jeannie Arunimā ♡

 

IMPORTANT Note: if you or a loved one is experiencing a continuing sense of despair, hopelessness, sadness, or depression, please talk to a trusted loved one, seek professional help, and don’t let it continue to fester. You can overcome it, but it’s so much easier to do when shared. Contact me for a free consultation to help make a plan for healing.

Acceptance is Key for Healing

Acceptance is Key for Healing

“Accept!” I hear the word clearly in my mind, exactly as my late Japanese master, O Sensei, would have said it.

I am working with a client, pausing with inner inquiry to discover how he might further healing of a very serious, chronic disease. We’ve been working together for a few months, seeing steady improvements in both energy and pain reduction. He has whole heartedly accepted and applied all the wellness strategies I’ve recommended, such as limiting work hours, scheduling rest, using visualization, meditation, self-talk exercises, targeted whole foods, and supplemental support, etc. In truth, his level of acceptance and implementation of healing strategies appears stellar! He’s accepted the disease, the doctors, the treatments, and every self-help strategy I’ve suggested with extraordinary graciousness, patience, and perseverance.

However, as many people who have suffered chronic illness discover, it’s not enough to simply go through the outward motions, and comply with (accept) treatment protocols and strategies for healing. No. In fact, there must exist a complete inner willingness in order to allow the condition to fully transform and heal. This bears repeating.

There must exist a complete, inner willingness in order to allow the condition to fully transform and heal.

Hearing that single word in my mind, with my teacher’s distinctive, thick Japanese accent, brought about a cascade of understandings about the healing process. I could see that although my client had exerted so much self-effort in his healing, there was still a place inside which was not quite ready to open up, and fully accept his recovery. There lingered a small shadow, seeming to whisper, “Ok, I’ll go through the motions, but, is it really worth the effort to struggle up the looming mountain ahead? I’m so tired.” This is the voice of utter fatigue brought about by chronic illness. It can affect our spirits, including our very will to live life.

 

Acceptance has many layers, all of which are quite “real” to the person suffering with a chronic illness.

 

There’s the physical reality of it. We take time out of our daily routine to go see our care givers. We may have to travel there, or set up remote access. We change our diet. We may start taking medications, herbs, remedies or supplements. Perhaps we change a behavior, like working too many hours. We implement strategies for healing. All these are physical and observable. 

There’s the mental reality we experience, often diving into research about our condition, and learning all we can to empower ourselves in healing. We think about, talk about it, read about it, rationalize it, try to figure it out, and hopefully, come to terms with the condition and make a plan for healing.

Then there’s the emotional reality, which is a too often neglected level in treatment of chronic illness. I’ve found that clients who’ve had a long battle with disease, or even just been unwell for a long time, go through the classic stages of grieving: denial, anger, depression, bargaining, and hopefully, acceptance. (For more on grieving, see The 5 Stages of Grieving.)

 Finally, there is the spiritual reality, which is usually the most subtle and unseen aspect of a client’s healing. It’s extremely personal, often private, and possibly “subconscious” to even the client himself. It is this aspect of our Inner Being which holds the key to successful recovery. The unspoken whisperings of the “subconscious mind,” the old patterns, ancestral-genetic code, and if you are of the mind to include “past lives,” are all embedded within what we may term the “inner spirit” or “individual soul” of each person. This vast and unseen reality has the potential to thwart, or support, all our actions toward healing on every other level, whether physical actions, mental stance, or emotional well-being. It is this level of inner work which we must not neglect in our efforts to heal the whole human being. Fortunately, it only requires turning within. (For more on Turning Within, sign up for my free course here.) For all who travel the healing journey, it is the spiritual level that is the key to inner strength and life will itself.

Healing chronic illness requires a holistic viewpoint and a complementary, team-based approach, with the most important team member being the patient’s own self.

The moment I heard the word, “Accept!” I immediately realized that my client must have a vestige of non-acceptance lingering in his spirit. After such a long, wearisome battle with disease, I could not blame him. In fact, I knew somewhat of how that felt, having dealt with some chronic issues in my own life. As I brought it up this concept, “Accept,” he nodded knowingly. Having recently done a lot of inner work to overcome that very same niggling shadow of doubt, whether it was worth it to continue to fight, he just smiled. He could see, as we often do, that there was just a little way further to go in fully accepting the goodness of the healing practices he was committed to, and saying, “YES!” to his own healing.

Pausing to accept the body’s satisfaction of the in-breath. Quieting the demands of the inner boss to accept the comfort of a deep rest. Slowing down to savor the flavors and accept the nourishment of great food. And regularily checking deep within to be certain we actually have our own inner blessings, and receptivity….. acceptance…. for healing.

When we deeply and completely accept the present moment and ourselves exactly as we are, we can experience incredible and exponential healing on all levels. Accepting life as it is, this moment, we can move on.

If you find yourself wanting a deeper level of acceptance and would like to explore it in a safe environment of healing and compassion, please contact me for free initial consultation, or to book a healing or coaching session.

 

All Blessings and Love,

Jeannie Arunimā ♡