HJ: Often times, we choose not to heal because we believe that our body and mind will decay over time. This is a powerful, pervasive belief system that all but condemns us to the stark reality it implies. It doesn’t have to be this way. Have you ever seen someone who looks 30 or 40 years younger than they really are? That is the power that belief can have in your life. One may be tempted to write off these types of occurrences to genetics, luck or environmental conditions. While these can play a role, the role they play is directly proportional to the level of belief one has in them. We can eschew these paradigms by simply changing our beliefs to reflect the reality we want to create for ourselves and trusting that it will follow. Doubt is a sign that ones beliefs have not fundamentally changed.
In this way, we can become the catalyst to healing that we seek. Truly our power comes from within — not from without. Seemingly external occurrences are actually triggers for internal processes that are ultimately responsible for the resulting healing. When we don’t fully trust ourselves or recognize our latent ability to heal ourselves, we still seek externally for the source of our good. That does not mean that we cannot be healed by externally initiated events and processes. It simply means that we have still not stepped fully into our power. We all are called to begin the process of doing so at different times. Do not judge yourself for where you are at. Accept and transcend it, if you so desire.
Why Some People Heal and Others Don’t (Part 3)
by Ben Oofana | Doiohm
One of the biggest impediments to healing is our fear of and resistance to own feelings, emotions, issues and the realities of our lives. People from many ancient cultures did all kinds of intensive ceremonial healing practices throughout their lives. Many of these individuals developed a level of mastery and possessed truly remarkable gifts and personal attributes as a result of their consistent effort and dedication. And they continued to develop throughout the course of their lives. Following the example of those who have attained a level of mastery will make it possible for us to increase our sense of possibility for ourselves and realize our purpose and potential.
One of the biggest impediments to healing is our fear of and resistance to own feelings, emotions, issues and the realities of our lives. Many of us have learned to run away when we see or feel something that is upsetting or situations that are frightening. We often deny the feelings and the parts of our experiences that we do not want to face. The tendency to run away from things often brings about more of the experience that we are trying to get away from. But some of us have done it for so long that we don’t know how to do anything else.
Some of us grew up in situations where it may have been too painful to feel or acknowledge what was going on. We had to deny our perceptions in order to survive, but that also caused us to disconnect from our core self.
Many of us have become very adept at disconnecting from parts of ourselves. We do this on a daily basis whenever we deny the feelings and realities of our lives. Parts of our brain begin to disengage causing our intellectual and emotional range to diminish. That clouds our perceptions and impairs our decision making capabilities. It makes it difficult for us to perceive what’s going on within ourselves or the impact or our actions upon the lives of others. It also prevents us from developing many of the coping skills or other resources that we need to be truly functional.
Healing initiates change and we sometimes find ourselves in new and unfamiliar territory. The process requires honesty, courage, a willingness explore and to face whatever feelings and issues come to the surface. Feelings and bodily sensations may initially feel foreign to us. It can feel very uncomfortable as all the conflicted feelings, issues and other imbalances begin to work their way up into our conscious awareness. Some people become fearful because they do not understand the stages of the healing process. But all of these things need to surface so they can be digested. It’s the only way these parts of us can ever heal.
It’s important for us to learn to trust the process, to just step in and figure out how to handle matters and really do our best. We will find it easier to flow with what’s happening when we remember to breathe into the apprehension, fear, resistance or any other feelings that surface. We grow stronger as we learn to deal with the feelings and issues that surface and the realities that play out in our lives.
Powerful generative forces of nature continually flow through children and that makes it easier for them to change, adapt and move readily from one stage of development to the next. Conflicted issues, emotions and the stresses of daily life tend to accumulate within us as the years go by. This accumulation can make us feel lethargic and causes us to desire things that are not healthy for us. The unprocessed issues and emotions act like cement by keeping us stuck in the same patterns and that reinforces our fixation by creating a powerful resistance to change. The resulting inertia makes it harder for us to find the motivation to get up and do things. Our brain also has a tendency to become habituated to familiar ways of doing things.
Many of us want to get to a place where we feel comfortable so we can just hang out. We resist change because it represents the unknown. Change also stirs up all the uncomfortable feelings and issues that we have tried so hard to avoid. The problem here is that we can only sit still for so long before we begin to stagnate.
Muscles atrophy when we fail to make use of them. Similarly, our resources begin to disappear if we fail to put them to use. New and challenging situations cause us to grow by requiring us to make use of our available resources. They also force us to develop new resources and capabilities.
Many of us do have a strong conscious desire to change the things that we don’t like about ourselves or our lives. However, our resistance to our feelings and issues keeps our consciousness bound in limiting or dysfunctional patterns. That arrests the growth process by preventing our consciousness from evolving. We have to really feel our true feelings and resolve the issues for all the parts of us to heal and evolve.
Our healing process will not follow a straight trajectory. There are periods in our lives when we feel ourselves growing and things are moving along nicely. Issues begin to surface at other times and then it can be difficult to make sense of what is happening. There will be moments where we lose all faith and doubt the process taking place and some of us give up at this point.
I’ve been doing intensive healing practices for years. There have been many times when difficult and painful issues would surface. And often I’ve wondered if I was getting anywhere. Another part of me was also cognizant of the progress I have made, so I continued to take steps to heal whenever the opportunity presented itself. I kept going through the vision quest and doing all the other healing practices. I initially did all these things as a matter of personal survival. Life has gotten much better over time, but I continue to work with these practices at every available opportunity. I can feel that more of my soul is present in my body and that the presence of the higher power flows through me. I also find that I continue to develop greater resources and capabilities.
I’ve felt a lot of fear and apprehension in the days leading up to the vision quests. I have even asked myself “Do I really need to keep doing this?” I could feel that part of me wanted to make excuses and flake out, but I remember how the tribal elders always said that the process has already begun once you agree to go on a vision quest, work with a native doctor or do any other form of ceremonial work. I would then follow through and honor my commitment. I have always been so thankful after having made it through another vision quest. It helps me to work through huge volumes of conflicted issues and emotions. I feel much stronger and I continue to develop other resources and capabilities that I need to fulfill my purpose here in life. I would have really missed out on all of these rewards if I had been foolish enough to allow my fears and hesitations talk me out of this opportunity.
I was talking with an indigenous healer from Mexico who was telling me that he didn’t like to work with nonnative people. He went on to say that “…so many of them are so out of touch with themselves and they really don’t understand what’s going on in their bodies and minds. The powers and beings that facilitate the work initiate a powerful healing response, but some people don’t understand the process. They tend to become fearful when the feelings and issues begin to surface and they have to really face themselves. They don’t follow through with their appointments and they interrupt their opportunity to get the result they truly desire. What people fail to understand is that they are creating more complications for themselves …and they end up setting themselves back.”
Native people did not have all the modern medical interventions. They relied upon the assistance of other forces or beings for their survival. American Indian Elders and people from other ancient traditions approached their ceremonial practices and their native doctors, shamans and priests with reverence and respect. Native elders said that we have a certain level of responsibility anytime we open ourselves up to this level of power. And they always emphasized that these ceremonial healing practices are the most direct connection that many of us will ever experience with the higher power.
Native people were totally committed any time they engaged in these healing practices. They understood that that the healing process had already been set into motion by the beings that facilitate the process once they agree to participate in a ceremony or work with one of the native doctors. Native people sometimes postponed their involvement in some of the ceremonies if there was a serious issue such as a death in the family, but they always came back to fulfill their commitment at the first possible opportunity.
I can relate to the frustrations that many indigenous healers experience when they try to work with people from outside of their own culture. Lots of people here in the United States are drawn to Native American spiritual practices …or so they think. But few have ever experienced the kinds of powers and beings evoked in traditional native practices. And many are so resistant to being in their bodies and feeling their true feelings.
Practices are an integral part of everyday life for many people from the various ancient cultures. These practices are just as much a part of their daily routine as it is for us to get up in the morning and brush our teeth. People chant mantras, do various forms of moving meditation such as yoga and tai chi, breathing practices and other forms of meditation. People from ancient cultures may also engage in various ceremonial and healing practices or performing austerities such as fasting alone in the mountains for four days and nights without food or water.
Many of us who live in this modern fast paced world have tremendous focus and commitment when it comes to our work. This level of commitment is often required for many of us to survive. But we may be left feeling so brain dead by the end of the day and we may find that we have very little energy left to do much else besides sit in front of the television and vegetate.
Many of us lack focus when it comes to caring for ourselves, and we end up neglecting many of our basic needs. Our bodies and minds tend to be so much more stressed out, armored, shut down and disconnected. And it usually requires greater effort for us to create the receptivity and responsiveness that will make healing possible.
You can mitigate the impact of the stresses by remembering to breathe into the emotions, feelings and sensations that you experience in your body as they arise. This will help you to dissolve the layers of armor and digest the backlog of emotions that are stuffed down in your body. This will also make you much more responsive to the healing so that you can experience more powerful results much faster.
I’ve been working with Chris for some time now. Chris told me that he couldn’t really anything when he first began to work with me. He told one of his best friends that he wasn’t sure if anything was really happening. The friend, who initially referred Chris to me, was also receiving healing sessions. He encouraged Chris to focus his attention in whatever part of the body that I happened to be working on at any given time.
Chris said that it was a real struggle at times. His mind kept going off into all kinds of scenarios and he would get lost in the continual internal chatter. He also said that many of the feelings and sensations that he experienced were very foreign to him. Chris said there were also times when the stuff coming up felt extremely uncomfortable, and that he had to get used to the intensity of the feelings that were emerging. But Chris was persistent and he continued to bring his awareness into any feelings or sensations that he felt in his body.
Chris said that bringing attention to the feelings and sensations gave him a greater lucidity. The process is helping him to recognize his tendency to get caught up dramas that play out in his life. He’s also becoming more conscious of his mind’s tendency to generate and get lost in stories.
Chris says that focusing on the feelings and sensations during the healing sessions makes it possible for him to participate in the healing sessions. And he feels that he has been able to develop a relationship with the beings and powers that are facilitating the healing. He can feel the issues and emotions dissolving so that they do not congeal or harden like cement.
Chris also says that going deeper into the feelings and sensations stops his mind’s tendency to editorialize or interpret other people, his interactions with them, situations and issues through the old negative filters. He said that enabled him to stop taking things so personally. Chris was also saying that it has become much easier for him to resolve issues and move forward in his life.
I see all kinds of amazing potential as I look into people’s bodies and minds. But most people will never realize their potential or fulfill their purpose because it is submerged beneath so many layers of stress, pain, confusion and unresolved issues. I do whatever I can to facilitate the emergence of the core self during the time I have to work with each individual. I cannot predict what will happen, but I’ve seen many people go through all kinds of amazing changes.
I did a few sessions for the woman with heavy substance abuse issues, who was working as a stripper. She didn’t show up for one of her sessions, and I lost track of her for a while. But then I ran into her on a few occasions, but she was using very heavily at the time.
She called me one day and told me that her back had gone out and that she was in a lot of pain. I went over to her home, did two sessions for her within a few days time and that got her on her feet again. She would then call me up from time to time, tell me how the sessions brought up so many issues and that it felt really horrible. Then she would tell me how various issues were working out and about the changes that were taking place in her life.
She cut out most of her substance use and began to clean up other aspects of her life. After some time she told me “…I can’t keep going in that club …it feels so horrible.” That’s when she quit stripping. She had been developing as a singer and songwriter during this time. She developed a following and began to tour as an artist and make recordings.
Traditional forms of medicine practiced in different parts of Asia place a lot of emphasis on prevention. Many people from these cultures do various practices on a daily basis to maintain their health and to develop their body, mind and spirit.
Western Allopathic medicine is focused primarily on treating the symptoms of the illness. Many of us Westerners have a tendency to ignore or forget about our bodies until they begin to experience serious health issues. By then it may be too late to do anything constructive. And people may find themselves in situations that cannot for which there is no solution.
Undigested issues, emotions and the stresses of everyday life accumulate within us. We become very dense, disconnected and our sensitivities start to shut down. Our physical and subtle bodies break down at a more rapid pace and we age prematurely as a result.
When you understand the impact of the stress that we are subjected to, you begin to realize that we need all the help we can get. Most of us need monthly or at least bimonthly massages and healing sessions to help us digest the stresses, issues, emotions and our life experiences. Consistent body work and healing sessions slow the aging process by reducing the negative impact of the stress upon us. It will give us the opportunity to eradicate the source of many imbalances before they turn into chronic or degenerative disease processes. Our commitment to ourselves also ensures that we continue to grow and to develop new resources to meet the challenges that we face as we go forward in our lives.
Ben Oofana is a healer who initially began his training with Horace Daukei, the last surviving traditional doctor among the Kiowa Tribe of Oklahoma. Ben went on to study with Chinese Master Li Tai Liang in Xin Yi Quan, Baguazhang, Tai Chi and Chi Gong. For more information, visit Ben Oofana’s website.