I have so much to say on this topic that I will have to break this into several posts. If there is one message that I want everyone to come away from after reading this, is that anyone choosing to look at themselves and do inner work should be applauded, because it is definitely not an easy process. It takes a lot of courage to face our inner demons and look at unhealed parts of ourselves and be willing to accept that we can use some improvement.
I plan to talk about some what I consider to be “Core” healing modalities. These are foundational practices that I believe are beneficial and serve as a starting point for personal growth and development.
By Traditional therapy – I am referring to seeing a counselor – either a Licensed Clinical Social Worker, or a Clinical Psychologist. I am sure they are called by different classifications in other countries outside of the US, but basically a practice where someone has trained in school. Traditional therapy is important because it serves as a way for an outside person to be able to look at us objectively and help us to understand our family dynamics and the filters on how we perceive things. Therapy helps us to break these decades long family patterns in our family lines. And the additional benefit, is that once we start to react differently, then others around us learn as well. Not only are we helping ourselves, but we are also helping those around us.
Most of us are not taught basic emotional awareness, so we just follow along with whatever happens in our families. Going to a therapist will help us better understand how and why we are reacting. One common thing that you might hear about is being ‘triggered.’ This is when someone says or does something to you that makes you upset. I used to suffer from this quite a bit. Now I know enough about myself to where I really don’t give a crap. LOL! But it is very freeing. When you realize that you and only you are the one that controls your emotional reaction to someone, why would you let that other person let you get upset? However, most of us have not spent the time and done the work to understand WHY we are getting upset. We just know that we are mad. Once you start to understand the WHY, then you can react differently and those WHYs can be any of 100’s of reasons.
When it comes to healing, traditional therapy is hands down the most profound healing treatment that you can do for yourself. It is not easy, but once you start to go and are able to express how you feel and have someone help you feel better – why wouldn’t you? At the end of the day, we all just want to be happy and be at peace internally. Going to therapy should be the first step on the spiritual path of self-awareness.
Exercise is another practice that has so many overall benefits. I remember running and getting a ‘high’ from it and thinking, “oh my gosh, no one really talks about the emotional bliss.” Of course, everyone has heard of the ‘runners high’. But I don’t think most people truly appreciate the actual emotional benefits to exercise. I almost felt like it was this secret that no one really talked about. I think the hard thing about exercise is overcoming the inertia to start. In this sedentary lifestyle where many of us are at computers all day, I think a lot of us have become really lazy about actually getting up to do things. And yes, I am referring to myself here as well. The more we sit, the harder it is to actually get up and take action. At the very least, I really recommend walking to start. I walk my dog several times a week about 1 ½ miles. I walk very early in the morning – at 4:00 AM. To me, it is so emotionally balancing. My mind is free, I am just putting one foot in front of the other. I can see the stars which helps me put anything going on in my life into perspective. Then, once I get home, I already have a sense of accomplishment. Now I know a lot of people are not early risers and might be more physically impaired to walk and/or walk that far. But pick something that you can do and try to make it more of a habit. The main thing is to get moving. And once you start to gain a positive momentum, you will be even more motivated to continue because you will start to feel better. And don’t beat yourself up if you can’t get into a regular habit. I think a lot of times, we set these high expectations and then when life happens and takes us of course, we start to feel bad and give up. But just remember, it’s a journey, not a sprint, so just keep on going!
This is so hard for a lot of people. We are hard pressed to sit still and quiet our minds. As an action-oriented person, this practice is also difficult for me. So, I try to meditate for even just a few minutes. I think the earlier in the day the better before our monkey minds start taking off. For me, I find myself thinking during meditation and I have to make myself snap out of it. Guided meditations might be better for some people where you are listening to someone to help you focus your mind, rather than on your To Do list for the day. I have read that when you meditate, you actually impact your neighbors! The energy creates a type of coherence that impacts those near you. How awesome is that! Just think if we all meditated how calm we would all be!
Meditation helps us to calm our minds creating an inner balance. I think the more effort that we put forth in taking care of our mental and emotional states, the easier it is for us to go through our day and react to any situation that we might encounter in a better state of mind.
One App that I recommend is “Insight Timer”. There are guided meditations, calming music, music to help you sleep – all sorts of helpful tracks depending on what you are looking for. I listen to one 528Hz in the morning while I journal. My animals also feel the peace and become very relaxed while listening to it.
I consider visualization a core practice that I don’t think too many people practice. When we visualize, we get to choose what we want to see. Most of us are going to pick something that we want to experience in our lives. Visualizing that desired image will create a positive feeling. I have heard when we create with our mind through our imagination, that it is created in the 4th dimension – it exists. Then it’s just a matter of time before it is created physically into the 3rd dimension. It is a practice that many professional athletes and sports professionals utilize. It is one of the tenets of Law of Attraction. The body can’t tell the difference if something is from imagination or if it is really happening, so it will also respond accordingly.I feel that visualization is important because when you think about how we go about our day and how we might focus on any number of different things, I think when you specifically make a point to focus on something that you desire, that puts your frame of mind in a positive state of expectation.
When it comes to healing modalities, journaling is the one where I spend most of my time. It helps me sort out what I am feeling. I think oftentimes we get caught up in the hustle and bustle of life and we don’t really focus on what is going on with us internally. We might be short-tempered or be angry and not even know why we are acting a certain way. Journaling to me helps me keep track of what is going on inside. It helps me process what I am feeling. Journaling helps me reflect on the day, what experiences I have had, what I was feeling, and how to make sense of everything. Writing helps me to stay centered because I have spent time on where I am emotionally. If I feel I am degrading emotionally, I write down what is going on, I brainstorm on how I can feel better. I reflect on the good, the bad and the ugly. To me, it’s me checking in on myself. It’s an integral part of my own emotional health practice.
This goes hand in hand with journaling. While people would most likely not consider this a healing modality, I want to talk about it because during the spiritual awakening process, dreams become a focal point. I will have to write an article on this because there are so much to dreams. In this post, I will just touch on the basics.
If you are not paying attention to your dreams you are missing out on a key tool to better understand yourself. I think it is kind of funny how people don’t realize how much their dreams tell about what is going on inside. And I think it’s funny when people tell me about their dreams. I spend a lot of time on dream analysis. Your dreams give you clues about what is subconscious – and trying to bring the information forth to your conscious level.
Since my spiritual awakening process began, I have become better at understanding my dreams. I believe that dreams can tell us about what is going on internally.
Here’s a summary of what dreams can reveal, from my perspective:
- Subconscious fears
- Things that you are trying to process emotionally
- Past lives
- Pre-cognitive visions
- Astral experiences
Since I’m talking about healing modalities, I’ll focus on subconscious fears and things that you are trying to process emotionally. The other 3, I’ll save for another blog post. Over the years, I’ve been better at understanding what dreams are trying to help me process things emotionally vs the other types. It takes time, but if you spend enough time on the process, it will become clearer.
Your dreams hold tremendous value in understanding your inner world. The key to dream interpretation is to remember how you FELT. Did you experience fear? Dread? Anxiety? Sadness? By paying attention, dreams will help you understand things that you might not be consciously aware of. To me, it’s an integral, core part of healing. Some dreams may be reinforcing something that you are already aware of, and others might be bringing things to you that you have tried to suppress or ignore.
Once you identify the key emotion, then try to identify if there is anything going on in your life that has that same emotion. Any animal or insect that shows up is your subconscious mind’s way of bringing a symbol to represent your feelings. It is important to focus on how you feel about that particular image, but you can also look up general interpretations There are also some dreams where you may be aware, but not fully aware of just how much emotion that you feel about a certain topic. If you wake up from a horrible dream with an intense emotion – pay attention. These are intense emotions that you are feeling that need to be addressed as they might be causing you a lot of inner turmoil that you may not have acknowledged.
I am by no means an expert, but I believe yoga is one of the core healing modalities that helps combine exercise and meditation. During yoga, my mind is quiet. I am focused on my body and how my body is responding to the movements. I feel the tightness, where I am holding onto stress in my body. Yoga helps center us, get us back in touch with our physical bodies and just feels good! Since a lot of us spend a lot of time at the computer, we really need to stretch. Yoga helps us deal with stiffness. Some people may prefer a class, some might prefer watching a yoga class in their own homes. Try whatever works for you. If yoga is too strenuous, just try stretching to start.
When it comes to healing, there are several different types of modalities. These might not all fit into the traditional definition of healing, but things that I think are the core foundation for overall mental, emotional, and physical health.
In the next post, I’ll go a little deeper into some practices that really go to that next level and are more intense healing practices.
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In love, light, and gratitude,