Today, I want to share an amazing essay on mindfulness and letting go written by a fellow blogger, Jill Salahub:
Let Go and Come Back http://wp.me/p1Rvn3-1R5
Today, I want to share an amazing essay on mindfulness and letting go written by a fellow blogger, Jill Salahub:
Let Go and Come Back http://wp.me/p1Rvn3-1R5
What I’m reading now: Zen lessons in working with whatever life presents
I found this little gem of a book 10-15 years ago. Time for another read!
What I’m eating as I read this fabulous book… a mixed greens salad with left-over beef tossed in and drizzled with Newman’s Own Tuscan Italian dressing. I’m sipping on a strawberry margarita, made with the last few strawberries in the house.
(Can you tell I didn’t need to cook for my hubby and daughter this evening?!)
A love letter to my fellow therapists, doctors, nurses, healers
I know how much you want to help each client who comes to you. I know how hard you work and study to help them. I am right there with you; I have been a healer of one sort or another for over 25 years. I know how much you care for your clients and want to help them heal.
You love them and want to help. But what if you actually have very little control over whether your client improves and heals or not? What if your clients are in charge of what happens in each and every healing session, NOT you? And what if being a healer or therapist no longer meant you were supposed to have the answers, or know how to fix your clients’ problems? What if being a great healer / therapist / doctor does NOT involve dispensing advice and healing wisdom to the suffering masses like some kind of Healer Dear Abby?
How would embracing your lack of control change your healing practice?
Each client holds the keys to their own healing. Every client has their own answers – even if they don’t believe it yet! At best, you can be a helpful conduit or sounding board – someone who helps your clients find a new perspective on their personal journey of self-discovery and self-healing. At worst you will try to take charge and actually get in the way of their healing.
Stop and take a breath. Give yourself a moment to grasp the idea that you are NOT in charge and you CANNOT CONTROL if and when, much less how your client heals. Each client is responsible for whether they heal or not. Does this lack of control and responsibility for your clients’ healing fill you with relief or infuriate you?
No matter what you do or say, no matter how many classes you take or how good your therapy techniques are, your client will choose whether they heal or not. You don’t control that, they do. If one of your clients heals, it is NOT because you did an absolutely flawless massage, gave them the perfect pill or performed the best sphenoid release in the Midwest. It is not because you said just the right thing or executed a flawless lymphatic drainage routine. People have been healing from all kinds of illnesses and pains for thousands of years before your favorite drug or healing modality was even invented. And isn’t obsessing about technique how we healers handle our own discomfort with not knowing how to make everything all better for everyone? Honestly?
This idea of the client being responsible for their own healing probably bursts all your fantasies about “if I just get really good at the right and perfect technique, then my clients will heal.” In my experience, there is no silver healing bullet – so stop looking for the “perfect” therapy, the “perfect” medication or herbal remedy, the “perfect” modality. Besides, that search for the perfect healing tool will only make you feel like a failure over and over and over again.
Open to the possibility that you have never been in charge of anyone else’s healing and see what happens for you and your clients. Remember that it is their body, their mind, their emotional reactions that determine how much healing happens in each session with you. Each client comes to you with a unique set of issues and strengths. Each client will heal in their own unique and unpredictable ways. If you want predictable outcomes, give up healing work and become an engineer.
So, if you cannot control the outcome of healing sessions with your clients, why be a healer at all? What is the point? How can you help anyone?
Before you throw in the towel and completely give up healing work in despair, try a few radical healing acts in your sessions. Shift your focus and see what kind of healing magic is possible:
Each client who comes to you is on THEIR own personal healing journey, not yours. So, take a big breath, smile at your silliness and learn to let go of control. You never really had it anyway.
Our beliefs become our thoughts…
Our thoughts become our words…
Our words become our actions…
Our actions become our habits…
Our habits become our values…
Our values become our destiny.
I intend to plant a seed in your mind today and encourage it to sprout. And today’s seed is… Change your mind, change your life.
What if I told you that your biggest block to health and happiness lies in the beliefs you hold; beliefs that shape your every thought and emotion; beliefs that define your every reaction to life? If you are open to the possibility that your beliefs are really that powerful, then read on…
Your beliefs can help you or hold you hostage. Do you realize that your chronic health issues are chronic and difficult to heal because an old belief or emotional pattern is probably getting in your way and keeping you stuck in pain and out of balance? I’ve witnessed this over and over in my healing practice; I will treat two clients of the same age and sex with the same physical issue, but only one of them will heal while the other stays stuck in pain and misery. Why? Because these two clients hold different beliefs about the world and how it works. They hold different beliefs about what kind of healing is possible for them. So one of them heals while the other stays stuck in pain.
Your perceptions and beliefs about the world create your reality. Your perceptions and beliefs can limit you and close off amazing options – or open doors for you and expand what’s possible in your life. Unfortunately, your core beliefs were put in place when you were a very young and vulnerable child. What that means is, some silly idea you formed at the age of 2 about life and how it works may still be pulling your strings and affecting your health and happiness years later when you are an adult. And if you had a traumatic childhood, just imagine what kind of crazy ideas are still mucking up your life today from deep within you!
In my healing practice and in my personal life, I have witnessed the effect people’s beliefs have on their health and happiness for years. And I have found shamanic techniques that can be used to shift beliefs and emotional patterns. No matter what you’ve been taught in the past, I am here to tell you that you truly can release those old outdated thoughts, emotional reactions and beliefs from your system. Yes, you can change your mind! And when you change your mind, you can change your entire life.
Change your Mind, Change your Life, Change your World.
“Said the river: imagine everything you can imagine,then keep on going.”
I went for a walk in the woods a few days ago. I love paths that are a bit wild and natural even in the middle of town. On this particular day, I am on one of my favorite trails; it meanders through a dense patch of woods next to a big wide creek. The path has been left untouched for decades in many places and I love wandering there. But walking into some sections of this trail brings to mind Dorothy hesitantly walking into the dark scary woods with the scarecrow on her journey to Oz. Or maybe it’s Gretel wandering in the forest with Hansel, looking for her way home. Either way, the path can be a bit unnerving. I find myself humming that old Lou Reed song, “Walk on the Wild Side”, as I walk.
Deep dark untamed woods hold big, scary, archetypal energy for me and lots of other people; all those wild, uncivilized natural spaces where we might just meet something bigger and hungrier than us on the path. It is exciting and and enticing and scaryall at once. I think this is why our ancestors spent so much time trying to tame Mother Nature. Generation after generation of Americans have spent huge amounts of time and energy trying to corral and control Mother Nature; e.g. clearing away the forests that once covered the northeastern US like they were tidying up a closet by throwing almost everything away. Or The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers dredging and straightening and pushing around the Mississippi river decade after decade – we all saw how well that worked out for New Orleans when Hurricane Katrina made mincemeat of the Corps’ dykes.
Even logical and reasonable adults plant grass over mile after mile of suburban neighborhoods, then burn thousands of hours of free time and gallons of gasoline every weekend mowing their lawns down with military precision until the grass is a socially acceptable “tidy” length that resembles some perfectly green and uniform man-made carpet. We humans cannot seem to leave Nature to her own devices, can we?
Mother Nature scares the crap out of most humans. Mostof us either hide away in man-made homogenized boxes and pretend Nature doesn’t exist or we head out loaded for bear to try and kick Mother Nature’s butt and make her our bitch. In the end, neither way works very well.
I go visit an old tree every time I walk this path. Her diameter is larger than my wingspan. I remember the golden mean ratio – exactly how tall does that trunk diameter mean she is? And how many rings does her trunk hold? Her rings must carry the wisdom and the history of this place at the edge of the path, this spot that she has anchored for at least 80 years . This tree has been here at the edge of this path for many, many years; she has seen all this human silliness before.
That’s where true wisdom comes from, being silent and still like an old tree; just absorbing what happens in whatever place I find myself today. And in taking the time to make the connections between what happens today and what happened yesterday on my path – and 2 years ago and 200 years ago. I need to remember to stop; get still, watch and listen to everything happening around me. And to take the time to reflect; to remember and store that longview of history like an old tree does.
I leave grandma tree and move on down the path. As I wander, I look up at the sky and realize that a storm is rapidly brewing on the horizon; it’s time to head for the safety of my house. Once home, I sit by the window in my study and watch the wind and rain thrash at the trees. Lightning splits the skyagain and again. Mother Nature is flexing her muscles. Even my tame garden seems a bit scary now. I watch the storm from a safe perch inside.
The path I choose again and again is not tame and civilized like a perfectly groomed suburban lawn. But it’s also not a solitary cabin surrounded by wilderness; I don’t require a life so wild and scary that I quiver with fear like the cowardly lion every time I venture out into the world. I seem to constantly be searching for the middle path; in my mind I picture land on the boundary between wild woods and tame suburbs. That feels like the space where I belong. It is the space where I feel most at home.
There has to be a way of living that is more in synch with my own inner nature. I want be find that way, to dig in and explore that middle path. I wonder if it is possible to live in way that is engaged with Mother Nature, fascinated and respectful of her powers rather than trying to subdue and mow and bend her to my will? And at the same time, can I develop a connection with Mother Nature so deep that I’m not left feeling completely helpless in her storms?
What is the middle path through this landscape? How do I become an actual friend and ally of Mother Nature? There are a thousand different opinions out there about how to walk softly on the earth; go vegan, buy local, grow your own, buy a hybrid, solar power… But I am wondering about diving deeper and making choices where I work with Mother Nature rather than doing things to her.
Whatever I choose has to come from my heart truly connecting with the natural world. I wonder what will my life look like if I open up and deeply connect with Mother Nature? What would it look like to be close friends with this Earth? This feels like a shiftin my path… like rounding a bend on a trail and seeing a whole new vista opening up in front of me. And just like any great adventure, this new terrain is exciting and a little scary, but not too scary…
If you were to choose one phrase that describes your life, what would it be?
What’s your Line?
These days, every corporation has something called a Tagline. A corporate Tagline is a short phrase that’s supposed to make all of us want to buy their product. Ideally, a Tagline is a catchy slogan that defines the business in a unique way. Think of Nike and “Just Do It”. Or Wheaties, “The Breakfast of Champions”. Join the U.S. Army and “Be All That You Can Be”. Remember DeBeers slogan; “A Diamond is Forever”? Of course you do! A great corporate Tagline is catchy and memorable.
Every person I meet has a personal Tagline, whether they realize it or not. The difference is your personal Tagline is not really about selling yourself. It’s more about consciously defining yourself and what you choose to create in your life. You may call it your creed, your motto, your philosophy of life. A consultant I know calls it defining your True North. Whatever – your have one whether you know it or not. EVERYBODY has one. Kids seem to absorb and live by their parents’ Tagline until they consciously create their own. So, even if you haven’t consciously thought about it, you have a Tagline buried in your psyche that is influencing how you look at life and what you think is possible for you.
So, I think it’s important for each of us to spend a few minutes thinking about what our personal tagline might be. I don’t know about you, but my parents’ tagline is DEFINITELY NOT the line that I want defining my life! My dad’s Tagline goes something like, “Life is a struggle. You have to work really hard just to survive.” Wow – what a downer! Can you tell he grew up poor and hungry in the depression? And in his late 60‘s, even after making piles of money, my dad would NOT stop working. Work defines his life – he has never created much room for hobbies or goofing off – or even traveling for pleasure. His motto doesn’t allow for much fun or ease in life, does it?
When we met, my husband’s tagline was, “Anything worth doing is worth overdoing.” Lucky for me his overdoing includes fun stuff and not just work! This man has taught me the value of having fun. And he’s a complete hedonist about food. 🙂 I actually think my hubby may have shifted his tagline a bit – he’s not quite so intense in his approach to work or play anymore. Maybe living with me all these years has mellowed him. LOL – He will find it hilarious that I’m wondering if I mellow HIM out!
Remember Dory from the movie Finding Nemo? Dory’s Tagline is:
“Just Keep Swimming, Just Keep Swimming.”
And who can forget Ferris Bueller In the movie, Ferris Bueller’s Day Off?? Ferris’ Tagline is one of my all time favorites. It’s funny, catchy, thought-provoking, irreverent… It truly catches the essence of who Ferris is:
“Life moves pretty fast. If you don’t stop and look around once in a while, you could miss it.”
Great words to live by.
So, what is YOUR Tagline? What phrase defines you and your philosophy about life? Is it the same as your mom’s or your dad’s? Or completely different?
And does your Tagline define the life you desire, the life you crave? Hopefully it doesn’t describe a life that’s not working for you!
What would happen if we each created a personal Tagline that describes the life we crave rather than a life we feel stuck with? What would shift inside our world then?? Food for thought…
I’m still crafting theTagline to define my life and my future. It’s a work in progress. I guess I REALLY should decide what I want to be when I grow up! But maybe a Tagline can change and morph over time – God knows I certainly keep changing with the years. Today I’m mulling over three or four possibilities;
I could keep using my favorite Joubert quote:
“You will find poetry nowhere unless you bring some of it with you.”
I could try my favorite Bill Murray (Tripper) line from the movie Meatballs:
“Repeat after me – it just doesn’t matter!”
Or how about something short and to the point:
“Life is Good”
Last but not least, I wonder what my life will be like if my line becomes:
“WoW – What’s Next?!”
Wow – it’s been almost 3 months since I spouted off here in my Blog.
That’s a LONG time for me to go underground. But I have a very good reason for going all “Turtle” and disappearing from view – I moved cross-country this fall. Moving from one state to another is tough even for a flexible, go with the flow type chick like me. (My husband is laughing hysterically right now about my “go with the flow” description of myself. But hey! This is my Blog and if I want to view myself as easy going, he should just learn to hush up… 🙂
So, more about moving. Any change is tough – most humans do NOT like things in their life to shift around or change much at all. But I have always prided myself on enjoying change. I used to do corporate change management work, for God’s sake! This move cross-country was a change that I pushed for and WANTED. And yet… this move was unsettling to say the least (pun intended).
It always takes me awhile to find ground and establish a new routine whenever I move, even just across town. But, silly me – I thought a much anticipated, much desired change would be easier. Hah! Maybe it’s because I’m an Earth sign (Taurus); I tend to root deeply into each place I live. Or maybe all those therapists are right when they claim that moving is one of the top three stressors in Life for everyone. Even good change is hard and stressful.
After our move, I felt unmoored, ungrounded, unsettled, off-balance. Like the least little breath of trouble might blow me right off my feet. It took me weeks to feel at home and truly relax in this new place. I knew what I needed – I needed to find gound. Hah! So it’s time to practice what I preach all day long to my clients, huh God?! I’m supposed to know how to do this, right?
What finally worked for me? What helped me find ground and settle in this new place? Meditating and consciously grounding my legs and hips helped me immensely And walking in the mountains was a God-send for me. The energy of the Rockies is very grounding (go figure!). And oddly enough, the simple act of unpacking our treasures helped a lot. Having boxes everywhere is very unsettling for me.
Yesterday I came across an essay named Finding Ground that I wrote a few years ago And I laughed to myself as I read it – if only I could have accessed all the wisdom I expressed in it during my “unsettled days” this fall.
My new home is good – I’m the one grinning from ear to ear every time I look outside and see the Rockies. It’s going to be years before this “flatlander” takes living in the mountains for granted.
Life is good here. Probably because I am finally completely HERE.
Much love and hugs from the mountains.
I encourage you to also read “Finding Ground”, with the hope that it might help you
face the chaos of change in your life.