SPIRITUAL GROWTH AND HEALING IN TIMES OF CHANGE
These are times of fast change and personal growth. Whether through economic downturn, political upheaval, natural disaster, divorce, or illness many are being forced into new patterns and habits by changes that seem to be imposed from the outside. Spiritually speaking, forces greater than any one human drive this change and likewise, all such change is for the better; more than this, we are meant to be active participants in, rather passive victims of, change. One way of harnessing the healing power of even traumatic change is to begin to view external events as reflections of internal emotional realities. This means that any event we witness or any circumstance we experience is contained somewhere within our personal, collective or planetary consciousness. This is true even if the reflecting energies are located outside the immediate grasp of our conscious awareness, for instance, in our subconscious or unconscious minds, or outside the physical body in lost parts of the self. Within this model of change we are able to, in some meaningful sense, influence outcome and how we experience the process.
We are not without assistance in this area. There are tools available to help us build a partnership with these greater forces of transformation, as well to use change as a stepping stone to greater self-awareness, improved health and quality of life, and stronger families and communities. This article discusses five easy ways to begin partnering with any process of change in which you find yourself. Applying these five suggestions will also help you get the most out of any health services you use.
Tips for Staying Healthy and Connected during Life's Transitions
1. Connect with Nature to reduce stress and anxiety
Growth spurred by fast change -whether individual, regional, national, global or planetary - has the purpose of aligning us with the rhythms and cycles of the natural world. This alignment is desirable because it reduces stress, improves health, and enhances family and community relationships. First, stress is reduced through connection with nature. The physical body is composed of the same elements as the natural world and shares similar cycles and rhythms. Because we are extensions of nature, to be disconnected from natural world is to be disconnected from self. Anytime we are disconnected from self, stress is created. This can mean increased rates of stress-related diseases as well as emotional and mental imbalances like depression or anxiety.
Second, family and community relationships are improved through connection with nature. Natural rhythms are by and large slower and more deliberate than the often speedy, chaotic, and arrhythmic pace of the modern world. As the song goes, within natural cycles, "to everything, there is a season" as well as an ordered progression of events allowing for birth, growth, death and change necessary to the process of life. Because our natural rhythms are the rhythms of the natural world, reconnection with nature's cycles teaches us about ourselves and helps us to slow down and be more present. Being present inspires a new sense of intimacy with self and other. This new intimacy, in turn, becomes the foundation of renew systems of familial, economic and social support. Easy ways of reconnecting with nature include hiking, watching the ocean, hugging trees, talking to houseplants, sleeping with the window open or stomping in mud puddles. More intensive ways of connecting with nature include sleeping outside on a regular basis and attending traditional sweat lodge or other earth-based ceremonies.
2. Make Time to Have Fun and Rebuild Spiritual Energy
While it is important to be present with the emotional impact of change, being overly serious is not an effective coping mechanism. Likewise, being serious will not necessarily change the outcome of your situation. Giving yourself permission to access the higher, inspiring energies of healthy fun is a way of giving yourself and others much needed support in challenging times. Healthy fun is relaxing, energizing and rejuvenating. It builds the spiritual, mental, emotional and physical reserves necessary for standing as a partner with, rather than as a casualty of, change.
Fun, especially healthy fun, opens the heart and triggers a gratitude response. Spiritually, gratitude is a powerful and creative energy. As we feel and express gratitude, nature responds in kind. She returns the energy of gratitude to us establishing a circular flow of energy and mutual support between us the natural world. This flow increases positivity. It makes solutions and understanding easier to find.
While having fun will not always help you avoid an outcome you do not want, fun will create a positive experience that will help balance any challenges.
3. Build Detoxifying Foods into Your Diet for a Better Sense of Health
Like it or not, our world is filled with biological toxins - whether from acid rain, medications, oil spills, metal tooth fillings, off-gassing mattresses or pesticides. A few years back medical research showed that newborn humans have something like 267 toxins in the bloodstream at birth! Medically such toxins are often thought to be at low enough levels to avoid disease. However, the energetic or emotional impact of toxins has been overlooked.
Human beings are energetically and emotionally sensitive creatures who are in tune on conscious and subconscious levels with our environment, including what we take into our bodies. Because toxins are by definition incompatible with the optimal functioning of the body, even at low levels, the energies of the toxins can create discomfort in the body in the form of cryptic, nagging and/or chronic aches and pains. Toxins can cause unpleasant emotions - including fear, irritation, anger, and anxiety - to be experienced with greater frequency and intensity. This leads to a reduced quality of life and potentially greater social challenges. (By way of illustration, think of individuals who feel great after a cleansing fast or much better after eradicating meat or gluten from their diet!) While it may be impossible to escape environmental toxins altogether, hope is not lost. Building detoxifying foods into the diet can help flush toxins from the body and also help us to become more aware of how the presence of toxins may be influencing our sense of health and well-being. Including even one or two of the following in your diet on a regular basis is helpful:
Raw, organic Kombucha tea and rejuvelacRaw, organic freshly prepared fruit and vegetable juicesRaw and organic fruits that are high in anti-oxidantsFiltered or fresh spring waterA variety of whole, organic grains - including sprouted grain products.For a touch of decadence, eat regularly at reputable raw food restaurants.
4. Use Flower or Other Nature Essences for Emotional and Spiritual Healing
Because our spiritual, mental, emotional and physical bodies are inter-dependent, during the personal growth process, health issues and life circumstances can be influenced for the better in more than one way. Changes in the physical body, say through the use herbal medicine or healing foods, will have a ripple effect on the mental, emotional and spiritual bodies. On the other hand, the impacts of essences, which reach the emotional and mental bodies first, eventually have a healing effect on our material reality.
As an added benefit, because essences are consciousness, they contain the higher intelligence or sentience of the plant or other aspect of nature. Thus, where an herbal medicine is designed to interact with our physical (elemental) makeup, essences are designed to interact with our consciousness. In this way essences dissolve emotional blockages, bring new levels of self-awareness and over time, help us move out of outdated patterns. This makes essences a good compliment to traditional or alternative mental health counseling and other healing modalities. Finally, because essences are consciousness they act as teachers of new habits for the mental and emotional bodies and also are non-addictive. The intelligence and purity of the higher consciousness of nature is what makes essences safe and reliable healers and teachers in times of fast change and personal growth.
If you are attracted to essences and want to explore, Bach and Flower Essences Society (FES) are often available in stores. Other flower essence houses have developed potent and pure essence that address an astounding array of issues - everything from social and cultural issues, trauma, genocide, balancing male and female energies and essences specifically for children and pets. Other interesting essence lines include Perelandra, Green Man, Findhorn, Australian Bush Flower and New Millennium Essences. Because some Spirit Medicines work by bringing negative or unpleasant emotions to the surface for clearing be sure take essences according to suggested dosages until you understand your relationship to a particular essence. Consider working with a trained essence practitioner.
5. Learn Reiki or Other Healing Arts Practice to Promote Personal Growth
If you are not already familiar with Reiki, or another energetic healing modality (including tai chi, yoga or cranial-sacral therapy) consider taking lessons, getting treatments or learning the art yourself. Healing arts, like Reiki, work with life force energy (chi) and have the purpose of assisting during times of stress, including the uncertainty of fast change and personal growth. Regular use of these modalities tones the energy system. It balances and aligns the chakras. It detoxifies and relaxes the physical body and addresses emotional blockages that in times of stress can lead to physical illness, negative thought patterns and moodiness, conditions which make change and growth more stressful and unpredictable.
Importantly, these healing arts cultivate stillness in mind and body and open the heart. They allow for greater emotional intimacy with the self which is important because the emotional body holds the subconscious patterns that create health and life events. Therefore, understanding our emotional reality can help us to partner more effectively with energies of change. Stillness and openness enhances creativity and the ability to recognize solutions that might not have been noticed otherwise. Finally, stillness and openness galvanizes the system and over time lead to greater emotional, mental and physical strength and flexibility, as well as greater confidence and courage in moving through changes.
In summary, these healing arts facilitate the health, optimism and skill required to move with ease and grace through times of fast change and growth.
Ahnday Meweh, Spontaneous Mystic, is a natural, intuitive and shamanistic healer who pursued training in the energetic healing arts after a spontaneous spiritual awakening interrupted her legal career. Ahnday works with the energies of nature, benevolent angelic realms, Reiki and various forms of shamanism. She authors the on-line spirituality journal, "The True Adventures of a Spontaneous Mystic." The blog sports messages from angels, mystical adventures stories, book reviews and featured healers & modalities.