Lie down and close your eyes. Take three deep belly breaths and relax into the space your are in. Now, through your mind’s eye, go inside your body. What do you feel? What do you remember?
If you have an ache or pain, whether it is chronic or acute, what is it telling you? You are relaxed and lying down, yet your body may hold a pain from the past.
Our bodies hold onto our aches and our pains until we are ready to heal them, or release them. Sometimes we hold them for many lifetimes. Do you have a birthmark or unexplainable scar or blemish on your skin that you’ve had all of your life? Chances are your body has retained this imprint from a traumatic past life that has yet to be healed.
My friend Karen Kubicko writes about birthmarks on her blog, and shows us that when we heal the trapped emotions that result from a past life trauma, our body responds by releasing the imprint, or birthmark left-over. Denise Linn also explores this concept in your book Past Lives, Present Miracles.
Even if you don’t believe in past lives, or are not yet ready to explore them for yourself, you can heal the trapped fears in your body from this lifetime. We heal when we are ready to release a fear, and often our bodies will tell us when we are ready by expressing discomfort or pain.
As some of my readers know, I began to heal my body of memories out of shear desperation. For two long and painful years, I endured the side-effects of IBS. No doctor could tell me the cause or the cure, I had to go within to heal a belly that had trapped fear for as long as I could remember.
When I wrote my memoir, A Girl Named Truth, I started peeling away the memories hidden within my body. My earliest memory, I discovered, was created when I was 2 yrs. old. Sitting on my Grammy’s sofa with my sister and cousin, listening to my parents fight outside the window, I discovered the pounding beat of fear that pushes the heart towards bursting, yet stills the body into silence.
The memories came back to me over the course of the next two years, and as I wrote, I began to heal. I discovered patterns. Oh, so many patterns! As I wrote my story, I realized I had a often taken on the role of the silent victim who hides her voice. We attract what we hold inside, and I held a lot of fear in the form of guilt, low self-worth and being afraid to speak my truth. I trapped my fears in my stomach and in my throat. I trapped them in my neck and in my shoulders. They’re still coming to the surface to be healed.
I healed my IBS symptoms over night, after I made the deep, soul-level decision that I would listen to my heart and become a writer. Yet, the IBS itself was a form of healing the memories trapped inside my body. For those two, exhausting years, my body worked to shed the fear and anger I had held dormant inside of me. My body, you could say, had literally reached its carry capacity. It had to heal, or succumb to a worse fate.
These layers inside of me go back to many past lives, which, like my present life memories, have a way of surfacing when I’m ready to face them and heal them. When I decided to work on my throat chakra, where my body trapped my “voice,” and as a result, developed thyroid disease, past-life memories began to emerge. At the same time, I met my animal totem/spirit guide Eagle.
The first image that came to me occurred while I was meditating outside beside my swimming pool about 4 years ago. I saw an image of a young man bound and suffering in a darkened room. Deep within my cells, the memory that this man was me surfaced. Then Eagle appeared, full of power and urgency, with an over-large orange beak moving silent words at the base of my throat. The pattern of repressed truth and victim-hood, I realized through that mediation, was carried over from past lifetimes. It was time to speak. It was time to heal.
Just as our fears can come in many forms, so too can the way they imprint upon our bodies. Quite often there are patterns to the way they nestle inside the folds of our tissues. A silenced voice can results in thyroid cancer or disease, trapped anger and fear frequently takes the form of the vaguely diagnosed ailment of IBS, Crohn’s disease or other intestinal ailments. Allowing others to disempower us can result in chronic lower back pain, while upper back, shoulder and neck pain can be a side-effect of the tendency to take on too much stress (much of which is not ours to take on).
When you explore those places within you that are calling for healing, see if you can find out what fears are trapped there. Allow your mind to be open to recalling the memories associated with those fears, whether they are from this life, or a life that has already passed.
Healing can also occur through many forms. It can happen when you reclaim the power that you have too freely given away, allowing yourself to pursue a passion that always resided inside of you, but were afraid to express. It can occur by going back to the source of the pain and shifting the energy there from fear to light. Sometimes an energy healer (through the various modalities they work with), can help you release and shift this energy to light, but you can often do this yourself. Going into that memory and flooding it with the light of love and forgiveness can heal the trapped pain, as well as changing the circumstances of the actual memory.
Both Karen and Denise speak to these ideas in their books/blogs, but I will give you an example of how you can work with this approach. My fears often surface during the night in the form of dreams. Lately, I’ve been using them as tools for healing. Sometimes, when I am “aware” enough, I enter the dream while I am still in it, and heal the energy around it. I switch from a victim to an empowered character within the actual dream, for example. If I am unable to do this while the dream is occurring, I do it when I wake from it. In my “imagination” I go back inside the dream and change the events and the outcomes, shifting the energy from fear to empowerment and love. Sometimes, I don’t just change my character, but those affecting me. I make them amicable and friendly, if they are hostile, and I shower the scene with love.
If you are interested in this form of healing, I urge you to explore the writings of Denise and Karen, who have both done extensive work and exploration into past lives. You may find that the more you do to heal your trapped fears, the more this healing extends to others. I am recalling an example from Denise Linn, who tells the story of a woman who healed her son’s speech impediment after revisiting and healing a past life they shared together. It’s a beautiful act of self love to heal your body’s fears, and often that healing, whether we are aware of it or not, extends to others. The energy that moves through us is, after all, shared with everyone else.
Yesterday, I had the pleasure of speaking with a young woman about her health challenges. The Universe, in that uncanny way it has, brought me a mirror of my former self in her image. Here, before me, was a girl suffering the side-effects of trapped emotions held inside a swollen abdomen. She is only 16.
As I spoke to her, I thought, What are we doing to our youth?Before me was a young woman already wrapped up in a culture of belief that to be still is wasted time; that to do more means a day well spent, even if our bodies cry out for rest. Her doctor (wisely) told her that her intestines where suffering from anxiety and stress. She is only 16.
Yet, she too is wise, beyond her years. Although she struggles with a drive to go, go, go, she knows that healing will be easier when she can learn the act of being still. Unfortunately, stillness has become something one must learn, an “action,” many of us must master. We are too used to over-stimulating our bodies and minds. Simply sitting, standing, or lying in stillness takes, in some cases, great effort.
Often, a busy mind and body is a mask for a soul in need of healing. We can fall victim to filling our days with activities, often multi-tasking in the process, in a subconscious effort not to go within. A quiet mind hears the truth.
Again, What are we teaching our youth? The younger generations learn by example, just as we, older generations did. They look to their parents, but they also look to their peers and the media, who are often feeding the notion that more is more, and to keep working harder to be “better,” and to “succeed” in a society driven by greed and competition.
I know it’s not an easy life to shed. When I am quiet, which I have learned to love, and even relish, sometimes the ego’s guilt will step in and tell me I need to accomplish more with my day. A quiet mind and body is open to receiving the vibration of Love and Truth.
A quiet mind/body/soul is in harmony with the Universe and receives its infinite wisdom and healing.
How humbling and gratifying it was to stand beside this remarkable young woman and hear her speak to me about her efforts to be still. She is taking yoga classes, something that was not common when I was her age. There is so much hope for our future and for the younger generations. Can we teach our children to be still, and, in doing so, be embrace the stillness of being ourselves?
I think we can. I think we need to. I think we have no choice.
Last night, before bed, my son asked me, “Mom, do souls ever die?” Had he asked me this question six years ago, I may have given him a different answer. My own journey of spirit in this lifetime began with a childhood of doubt, and the silencing of my inner voice. Many of us begin our lives (in this incarnation) this way. Few, I suspect, have had the gifts of nurtured guidance from our caregivers, for our world has yet to fully embrace the untethered spirit.
I was born into an unhappy marriage between two young, hippie parents. The hippie lifestyle outlasted the marriage, but it was not a free, loving lifestyle. My “spiritual” edification was early and short-lived. When I was two, my mother fled with me and my sister to live on a series of Hare Krishna compounds for 6 months. Other than the comic books my mother kept, and a few other relics, nothing remains of this early life. It was a mode of escape and of hiding, a journey based on fear and not the quest to find spirit.
When I was growing up, my mother and step-father shunned organized religion, and I had almost no knowledge of biblical stories, or other religious texts. Mine was an agnostic household at best, tending toward atheism. Yet, I do recall my mother speaking about the possibility of reincarnation – a “concept” I secretly embraced, as it felt “true” to my soul.
When I prayed, I prayed silently to an unknown, untouchable God inside the muffled walls of my mind. My prayers were desperate and laced with my childhood fears of death and loss. When I thought of death, and my body and “mind” disappearing forever, my heart would leap into my throat.
This way of living went on for many years, well past the time I left my childhood home, despite the nudging of my spirit, which wanted to be heard. A spirit that struggled for the full-bodied voice of Truth. Despite fear’s best attempts to close my third eye, I was an empathic child with psychic gifts. Everywhere I went, I felt the imprint of energy. Unfortunately, I absorbed fear and and pain more than anything else.
My parents labeled me as a “moody,” “overly-sensitive” child, not realizing that I was an empath, and was absorbing and feeling their own fears, as well as the fear-energy that permeated my environment. This is not to say that I didn’t feel love and joy too, I did, and often I shared in the joy of others. Somedays, I would find my mind open to this energy. While sitting in my classroom, there were moments when I connected with a classmate’s inner joy. These were blissful, unexplainable moments for me, as my cells hummed with unexpected joy.
And, I had dreams. Prophetic visions that played out in the ensuing days that I learned to doubt. When I left home, the voice of spirit called louder, urging me to leave the path of ego I was following. In the summer before I began graduate school for a doctoral degree in the biochemical sciences, I was plagued with these visits, which I found terrifying at the time. As I drifted off to sleep, many a night (or day), I would wake suddenly to a loud voice, calling my name into the hollow of my ear. This desperate call to be heard went unheeded, I followed the path of ego for one more year.
It was a miserable year, of which I’ve written about to some degree in other posts. Had I not taken this path, though, I would not have learned its lessons. I would not, perhaps, have known how much it contrasted with my inner truth.
Yet, still I was lost. That 5-year-old girl who secretly knew she was born to write and help the world with her gifts, was still hidden in the cage of fear. It took, in fact, motherhood and IBS to bring her out into the light.
When we have our own children, we are given an opportunity to see a new perspective that extends beyond the limited view we may be used to. We also see the world through our children’s eyes. Again, the nudge of spirit came back to me with urgency.
Before my daughter was born, I knew she would be one of my big teachers in this life. About six months before her birth, she appeared to me while I slept. I saw her full round face, framed with the same brown hair as mine. My blue eyes were mirrored back at me, their shape larger and more pronounced.
My daughter learned verbal language early, and by the time she was two she was asking me some tough questions. While her father was at work, she would peer into my eyes, “If daddy is a doctor, what are you?” she would ask. “But, what are you?” she persisted when I told her I was her mommy.
Her words lingered and probed the recesses of my mind. What was I? Her questions dug under the detritus of fear.
By then, I had both of my children, who are less than a year-and-a-half apart in age. My life was consumed by the joys and stresses of motherhood, and it was laced with holes. I could not deny that I was, in many ways, miserably unfulfilled. Yes, I had always yearned for the time I would be a mother, but this was not a role that completed me. There were huge, undeniable gaps.
Still, I ignored them. After all, I had young children to raise, a busy, working husband, and the idea in my head that I would not let anyone else be the primary care-giver to my son and daughter.
Welcome in a new night-time messenger, this time in the form of IBS, which began suddenly and in painful earnest. Let me take a moment to talk about IBS and how it relates to fear and empathic tendencies. When we spend a great deal of our time feeling and absorbing energy from our surroundings, this energy often gets trapped inside of us, lingering and growing into a dark mass of fear that blocks our inner-light, and creates an energetic imbalance inside of us. The result is often a disease or dis-ease of some sort.
I was a child plagued by stomach ailments, so it should have been no surprise that I developed IBS (a common dis-ease of empaths). My mother (who is in the medical profession) was the first person to suggest this was what was causing my adult ailments – episodes of such intense intestinal discomfort, that I would be up for 3-5 hours during nights when it flared.
I shunned this diagnosis, which I found both embarrassing and unsatisfactory in its inability to be medically “cured.” Two years passed, during which I made trips to doctor’s offices, tried various antacids, had tubes shoved down my throat and blood tests, and passed many a day feeling completely depleted of energy, which made me unable to properly care for my children.
Then, on Mother’s Day of 2008, I had my last episode. You can read the story someday in my memoir (when it’s published), but for now, let’s just say, I had had enough. I was ready to heal. Healing from a dis-ease such as IBS, or any energetic imbalance, comes from a deep-soul-level desire for health. The mind, body and soul must sync in this desire and embrace the truth that we each, inside of us, hold the capacity to be healthy and balanced – that, in fact, this is our natural, steady-state. For more on this, you might want to read Deepak Chopra’s book Quantum Healing.
I may have not known, intellectually, why I was ready and able to heal then, but I knew I had made that determined choice. A change inside of me had occurred – I had decided to heal, and in the process, to finally, heed the desperate, loud calling of my inner voice.
Within a matter of weeks, I was looking at graduate schools with creative writing programs. And, painfully, for it was a struggle, I began to write – really write. That voice that was so deeply buried was starting to emerge. At the turn of the New Year, I packed my suitcase with a week’s worth of clothing, snacks and various other necessities, left my two young children in the primary care of their father, and headed two hours north to a small town in Vermont.
Goddard College, was, in so many ways, the doorway to my voice. Here, for the first time, I was in an environment that felt like home. I quickly found 5 soul-sisters, and a setting where my spiritual and creative voice could sing without fear. Those two years, filled with the challenges of balancing motherhood and being a full-time, low-residency student, were the happiest, to-date, years of my life. There was no turning back. I had embarked, finally, with eager and unwavering feet, along the path of my soul’s truth.
When we find the bliss of our soul’s truth, how can we turn back? I can’t say that after I left Goddard, and the structure of regular deadlines, which “forced” me to write, that I have maintained a steady forward trek. Everyday life has a way of taking over when we let it. Now, though, I stop to listen, take inventory, and find a way to get back on the path.
When I look back at what where I have been in the last five years, I can hardly say I’ve been sitting still, or going “back-wards.” I have not only written many lines, I have nurtured and grown my spiritual calling and path. To help heal others, I have learned, we must heal ourselves. This isn’t to say that we have to be completely “healed” of fears, for this takes most of us many lifetimes, but we need to have an understanding and acceptance of the fears that have a tendency to make a home inside us, and we need to work at healing and letting them go.
Along with Goddard, and the many individuals and gifts I encountered by being there, I have met, and continue to meet wonderful healers, teachers and fellow soul-travelers. This part of my journey began with conversations with a friend, whom I met while our daughters were in preschool together, and gradually grew to include various energy healers, gifted intuitives/psychics and teachers of spirit, and soul-travelers who have merged into my life. When we open ourselves up to our spirit’s truth, doors open to the teachers and companions we need and seek. The world, suddenly, becomes unbounded and filled with the magic of discovery and joy. There is no looking back, except for remembering how far we have come, and the lessons we learned to get here.
May you, if you have not, find your own way to travel your soul’s truth, for it is the only, “true” path, to bliss.
Find a quiet space and light a candle. Call in your spirit team (spirit guides, ancestors, animal guides/totems, guardian angels). Connect your energy to Mother/Father God and Mother Earth by opening your arms to the heavens, and then extending them down to the Earth. Sit in a comfortable position and surround yourself with protective light. Today, I visualized a bubble of purple light around me. Call in the archangels for protection.
Breathe deeply and relax. Open your mind to all thoughts without attachment. By doing this you are allowing anything that needs to be seen to surface. If you perceive any lower vibrational energies outside of you that are a threat to your energy field, surround them in a tunnel of rainbow light, and send them up through that tunnel into the heavens to be transformed into the energy of love.
Now allow you inner fears to surface. Know that each image or thought that appears in your mind is there to show you an aspect of yourself that is ready to be released. See that aspect of yourself in whatever form it appears. You may find yourself wondering why a particular image has appeared. Say, for instance, your mind recalls a person other than yourself. Know that person is mirroring an aspect of you that needs releasing. The energy may appear as a pain inside your body, or a feeling of heaviness. Allow that energy to come up.
As each aspect appears, do not resist. Welcome it and watch it. Recognize it for the lessons it has taught you. Then, when you are ready, effortlessly let it go, allowing it to be transmuted into the energy of love, light, peace and harmony. Continue this process as each “fear” surfaces, until you feel you are done. Your energy should feel lighter and more peaceful.
Thank the beings of light that were there to support you as you release and transmute your fears.
This morning I awoke still breathing the emotions of my dreams. In my last dream, the one I remember, I was stuffing clutter in the form of clothing and food into suitcases and bags with my family as we attempted to move our belongs out of a house. I subscribe to the dream symbolism of house as a metaphor for our bodies or an aspect of ourselves that needs attention. Clearly there is much more I am trying to purge (recall yesterday’s meditation blog). Not coincidentally I listened to a Denise Linn replay this morning where she spoke about our dream state and how it can be used for healing (ourselves and others). I decided to pull out a poem I wrote awhile ago on this topic.
You may find your dreams
caught in your breath
Tangled inside the inhale
you forget to let them go
A snare of regret grows
covered with thorns
Each prick points to a bleed
If you follow the red trail
you will arrive at the clot
A muddy pool colored with a past
in need of thinning