Tag Archives: Eckhart Tolle

AWAKEN TO LOVE THE LIGHT

“Darkness cannot drive out darkness; only light can do that.  Hate cannot drive out hate; only love can do that.”  Martin Luther King

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Do you always look outside yourself for something to make you happy?  When things you don’t want to happen occur, do you get angry or try to learn from those experiences?  Do you take full responsibility for the good in your life?

The popular literature of our time seems to be obsessed with darkness—death, violence, vampires, a future world where life is not humane.  The same is true of television programs on the basic channels.  The stories are all based on police and detective stories or have main characters that are violent or vengeful even if they are the heroes of the stories.  The same is true of many movies that are based on dark stories.

Our Pain Bodies Addict Us To Negative Thoughts and Emotions

Why are we so obsessed with the dark side of life when it is the light of life that brings us joy?  The movie and television industry discovered at some point that it is much easier for us to become addicted to these negative influences than to the positive and that they could make money off that.  The reason for this is what Eckhart Tolle calls the pain body.

English: Head-shot of Eckhart Tolle from direc...

English: Head-shot of Eckhart Tolle from directly in front by Kyle Hoobin. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

The pain body is an energy form that lives within all of us, and in order for it to be active, it must be fed.  What it feeds on is negative energy, so negative thoughts and emotions trigger it and allow it to take control of our thinking and emotions to the point where we begin to see the negative in every thought or encounter.  But unless the pain body is stimulated in this way, it lies dormant.

The Pain Body Feeds On Negativity

It is this aspect of our emotions and psyche that the entertainment industry understands and uses to addict us to the negative stories they produce.  One of the things I’ve observed is that people who spend a great deal of time immersed in these stories often have a great deal of fear because, when they choose to expose themselves to this kind of negativity on a regular basis, the pain body gobbles it up and expands.

Just as too much fat and junk food harm our bodies, exposing ourselves to unhealthy thoughts and experiences is harmful.  Even the kind of violence present in video games can distort a child’s concept of reality, and with the amount of violence being committed by young people these days, parents need to closely monitor how their children spend their time.  In the case of the young people who have entered schools and killed teachers and classmates, it is clear their pain bodies are ravenous for the charge that only violence toward others can give them.

We Create Light and Love Within

As King says, only love and light can drive out the darkness and hate.  Only we can change what the entertainment industry insists on giving us by refusing to watch stories that feed us only the dark side of human nature.  I’m not suggesting we return to the days of “Leave It To Beaver,” but there are many human stories with positive themes that can be entertaining and uplifting.

Love tree

Love tree (Photo credit: @Doug88888)

In the coming year, let us commit to supporting only what is positive and learn to shift our negative thoughts to more positive ones.  By doing so, we will weaken the pain body and free ourselves from its grip.  We all have challenges, but we can choose to live them in the dark or the light.  The concept is so simple.  On a sunny day, don’t most of us feel more energetic? Even on a dark, rainy day we can choose to have grateful and joyful thoughts so that we feel the light inside us.

Gratitude Expands Our Inner Light

The pain body doesn’t want us to feel good, so a gratitude practice can be a wonderful way to counteract that negative energy.  I use breakfast as the time when I express thanks for my food as well as other things in my life.  Some people prefer to write a list.  Even on the days when it seems everything is going wrong, it is worth hunting to find something positive.

A couple of days ago, I sneezed and one side of my back went into painful spasms.  It was bizarre and probably an unexpected reaction to a fall I’d had a few days earlier.  Here I was, with Christmas approaching, and I had to be taken to the emergency room with severe pain unable to move.  I wanted to rant and rave and feel angry about this awful event, but instead, I just gave in, stayed in the moment, and focused on what I could be thankful for like the careful, kind paramedics who transported me, the doctor who talked with and treated me, and my loving partner who was there every moment, helping in every way possible.

We can always choose to look at the light rather than the darkness.  In this case, I knew this happened because there was an underlying problem in my back, and it was better that it came to the surface when I was able to easily get help.  I am most grateful that it didn’t happen on my trip to visit family or on Christmas Day.

Saying “thank you” is always a way to create light in our lives.  I once knew a woman who didn’t have a lot of money, but every time she wrote a check, even to pay a bill, she wrote “Thank you, God!” at the bottom of the check.  It might have been her last dollar, but rather than focusing on the negative, she chose to feel abundant by paying that bill.

Winter Is the Perfect Time to Find Our Inner Light

During this winter season, the hours of light are less, and yet it isn’t the literal light that matters the most; it is the light and love within our minds.  We can create light in the darkness.  What is more wonderful than snuggling with your loved one by the fire or filling a room with the warmth of friends?  What is more wonderful than the generosity we see this time of year when so many people give to organizations that feed, clothe, and warm those in need?  And we can create those loving feelings within by focusing on what is good in ourselves and life.

Be the Light of Your Own Life

What gives us warmth and light may be as simple as listening to the birds and their sweet songs each morning as we rise.  No matter what challenges may appear throughout the day, we can reflect on the light their song brings us at the beginning of each day, as they remind us to look for the good in every day and every experience.  May you warm the darkness within, deplete the power of the pain body, and create the light in your own life.  Thank you, Oneness, for this life.

HAPPY HOLIDAY TO YOU ALL!

©2013 Georganne Spruce                                                          ZQT4PQ5ZN7F5

Related Articles:  An Enlightening Evening With Eckhart Tolle and Deepok Chopra(video), How To Embrace Emotional Pain, The Pain body – Part 1(video)

AWAKENING TO THE HEALING DANCE AGAIN

Technology continues to be a challenge.  I apologize to my subscribers because they didn’t receive the blog post last week because I didn’t reblog correctly.  So, I’m adding another blog on healing first.  If you missed last week, please scroll to the second post and read it first.  Peace, Love, and Joy to you all, Georganne

“There is no coming to consciousness without pain.  People will do anything, no matter how absurd, in order to avoid facing their own soul.  One does not become enlightened by imagining figures of light, but by making the darkness conscious.”  Carl Jung

How willing are you to be aware of your emotional pain?  Do you use pleasant experiences or material things to make you feel better or deaden the pain?  Do you have the courage to face and heal the deeper truth?

In the first blog of this series, I wrote about how our wounds often lead us to see what needs to be healed in our lives.  Although we see them as part of our emotional darkness, they are gifts.  In the second part of the series, I pointed out that we all need love in our lives and that it may come from many sources if we are open to seeing it.  Today, I want to write about the importance of letting go of our attachment to the pain we experience.

Fear of Letting go of Pain

Years ago, after a painful divorce, I began seeing a therapist to help me deal with the deep betrayal of my husband.  At the time, I was teaching modern dance and dancing with a company and choreographing.  As the therapy progressed, I began to feel better about myself and spent less time overwhelmed by negative emotions, but one day I became very upset during a session.

“Sometimes I’m afraid that getting ‘well’ will destroy my creativity. It’s changing something in me, and I don’t feel I need to create so much. I feel like I’m losing my creative edge.”

“How is it doing that?” my therapist asked.

“Because it’s the inner turmoil that makes me want to create. If I get well, I’ll have no reason to create!”

“What if being healthy makes you more creative?”

I only shrugged, but as I thought about this, I was unable to imagine how that could be so.

(Excerpted from Awakening to the Dance: A Journey to Wholeness)

Why We Won’t Let Go

We all have belief systems that keep us trapped in unhealthy places.  That’s why many people refuse to get help for their problems.  They’re afraid to discover what lies in their darkness or are so insecure that they cannot handle the idea that they have done something wrong or are not all right.  My mother is a good example.  She could not let go of the idea that she wasn’t a good Christian if she loved herself.  Her entire sense of worth was based on what she did for others.  She was a loving person in many ways, but very unhappy and took care of herself only so she wouldn’t burden others.

Sometimes, though, we take the risk, and in our process of changing, we begin to feel better and hit another layer of fear that limits our consciousness.  We may cling to our negative feelings simply because they are so familiar, just as we cling to negative relationships because they are known and nothing scares us like the unknown. Letting go of these attachments is often a big step.

Becoming Conscious of Our Shadow

Fortunately, though, after my divorce, I liked feeling better more than being in pain and decided that my ideas for dances could come from many sources, even the past negative feelings, for I could remember them, even if I no longer felt them.  I filed them away as I would any reference material and took responsibility for making myself happier.

Through therapy and through reading and attending workshops as a member of the Carl Jung Society in New Orleans for ten years, I learned to understand my difficulties and how to resolve them.  I learned about the value of what Jung calls, “the Shadow.”  It is that dark part of ourselves that we don’t want to see, but the less conscious we are of it, the more it harms us.  Becoming enlightened or conscious requires that we examine and heal it, for when we become conscious of the thoughts or experiences that have caused our pain, we can heal them, then let go and move on.

All Spiritual Healing Requires the Journey Inward

This spiritual journey inward may seem eccentric to some people who have bought into our materialistic society.  Eventually, the materialism fails to solve the problems.  The drugs that seemed to make us feel better become a destructive addiction.  All of the “cures” for our pain only create an illusion of temporary healing.  The only true healing takes place when we go within, and that is often true of physical, as well as emotional pain.  We have to bring it to the surface, heal it, and let it go.

We can free ourselves only when we become conscious.  No one I’ve read has written more clearly about our pain than Eckhart Tolle in A New Earth: Awakening to Your Life’s Purpose in his discussion of the “pain body” and how to heal it.  I highly recommend this book. (See Links I Like at the side bar)

What pain have you healed recently? Please comment.

© 2012 Georganne Spruce

Related Articles:  Eckhart Tolle Releasing the Pain Body (video), Carl Jung’s Concept of the Shadow (related to life), Overcome Your Emotional Roadblocks

Last Week’s Blog

Many healing issues have arisen in my life lately, so I intended to write about healing today.  I know several people dealing with cancer and others dealing with emotional issues.  But when I looked at a series I wrote on this topic last year, I realized I would just repeat what I’d already said.  So, I’m reblogging the posts that seem most relevant.  I hope they will be helpful.  Namaste. 

“The wound is the place where the light enters you.”      Rumi

How tall are the walls you build around yourself? Why do you need so much protection? What will it take to heal your wounds?

It was freezing last night and my bedroom was still cold when I awoke. All I wanted to do was snuggle further into bed, hide out in my pleasant dreams and the warmth.  But after briefly indulging my desires, I climbed out of bed, and walking into the center of my house, I was warmed by the brilliant, morning light spilling through the windows.

When life is rough, it is natural to want to hide out, build protective walls, and ignore the source of our pain; yet, if we do that for too long, it can become a dark cave from which we may never emerge.  We learn to lie brilliantly to ourselves.  We evade capture.  And we become hard and defensive around the edges, so that the one thing that can heal us is unable to penetrate.  Even the light needs a chink to pass through.

Wounds Are Valuable Assets

How do you deal with your most painful wounds? Do you build walls to protect yourself or do you see the pain as a sign something needs to be healed?  Our wounds are some of our most valuable assets.  They are the portals through which we can heal the pain that stops us from living our lives fully.  We have to learn to dance with them in the dark so that we can dance with them in the light.

Have you ever had the experience that, when a small conflict arises, you suddenly explode or react in some way that is inappropriate to the situation?  This is always a sign that a deeper issue has been triggered.  It is usually a sign that, deep within us, there are unhealed, deep wounds struggling to reach the light. So, what can we do to heal these wounds?

How To Heal Your Emotional Wounds

Being present is the key.  Has this happened before?  When did it begin?  What was the source of the original pain? There is always fear present with emotional pain, so I try to identify my pain so I can focus on it.  Am I afraid I’m not loved?  Am I afraid of losing someone or something I value?  Am I afraid of being harmed?  Regardless of how you identify the fear or don’t, the first step is to release it.

Releasing Your Fear

I take a deep breath, and as I exhale, I feel and/or visualize this fear leaving my body.  I repeat this process until I do feel the fear released, then sit a moment with the peaceful quiet that appears after the release.  Without the fear blocking my mind, I ask that this emotional pain be healed permanently, knowing that my wish will be granted.

Being Patient With the Process

The next step requires the most patience.  The pain may be healed immediately.  More than likely, though, I will be drawn to those experiences that will guide me through healing myself, and that is very empowering.  Healing may come in many forms:  a book, a person, a workshop, or technique.  Over the years, I have found valuable guidance for healing in therapy, spiritual practices, support groups, healing techniques like Emotional Freedom Technique, affirmations, numerology, astrology, Medicine Wheel cards, and simple conversations with friends. If I’m drawn to it, I dance with it, and in dancing with it, I may be healed.

How Did You Help Create This Wound

This deep pain is the kind we don’t want to return, so it is also wise to become aware of the role we played in creating the pain. The answers are always within us. That is why it is important to be receptive, but not passive.  We need to ask, “What did I do to help trigger this?  What was my role?”  Unless we can see the patterns in our behavior, we will repeat them.  It is in this step of the healing process that therapy is most valuable.  Therapists cannot change you, but they can help you understand your behavior and others.  Only you can make the change once you understand what you need to do.  Awareness is the key.

It is not always possible to identify our role in creating the pain, for sometimes it is the result of karma from past lives or that we are in a situation in order to learn a lesson.  Still, as frightening as it is, we must be willing to be vulnerable—to let the light shine through our journey to understand how to dance the healing dance, the one that we choreograph for our own healing.  Love the wound, then let it go.

What techniques have worked well for you in healing emotional pain? Please comment.

© 2012 Georganne Spruce

Related Articles: Eckhart Tolle – Dealing with Pain (video)Shift Your EmotionsBeing Present – Healing the Past

© 2013 Georganne Spruce                                      ZQT4PQ5ZN7F5

AWAKENING TO ALL THE LOVE

“Love is a state of Being.  Your love is not outside; it is deep within you.  You can never lose it, and it cannot leave you.”  Eckhart Tolle

Malaprop's Book Signing

Malaprop’s Book Signing

When I think of love, I have to remind myself that it comes in many forms.  There’s the romantic version with roses and champagne, kisses and hugs.  There’s the long-lasting, deeper love that allows one to accept and solve the real problems that always arise in life and stay together over time.  There’s the love of friendship and community, of being there for each other for fun and support.  There’s the spiritual love that puts us in touch with something greater than ourselves, greater than anything we can find on the physical plane.  There’s love of mankind that motivates us to become involved with helping those who have less than we do.  There’s also the self-love that allows us to accept ourselves, be the best we can be, and see our mistakes as learning opportunities, not has a reason to condemn ourselves.

A Different Valentine’s Day

Last Friday, I read from my memoir Awakening to the Dance: A Journey to Wholeness at Malaprop’s Bookstore in Asheville.  It felt like Valentine’s Day, for the room was full of friends, acquaintances and strangers.  Some were there just to support my writing efforts; some were there because they were curious about the story; others were there just because we love each other.  Robin, who introduced me, made me sound like a celebrity.  The audience was wonderfully responsive and asked great questions.  It was fun to use my dramatic skills to interpret literature publicly – especially since it was my own creation, and I could see immediately the audience’s response to what I had written.

Malaprop's Signing 002

Surrounded by Loving Friends

Among my friends were several who have seen me through all kinds of challenges, especially the most difficult one, two years ago, when a love relationship ended.  The pain overwhelmed me, but the constant flow of warm hugs and kind words helped me remember who I really was—a loving and loved woman.  How they put up with my tears and lengthy sad stories I don’t know—actually I do know—they are incredibly loving people.  Even if they thought my book was horrible, which they don’t, they would have come to this event because they know how much it took for me to complete it and put it out into the world.  And they know that I hope that what I’ve learned will help someone else create a happier life.

Real Love Connects With Spirit

When I read Eckhart Tolle’s quote on love, I started searching for some articles and videos to share.  In some of these writings, he points out that our love is often ego-based, but it is real love only when the transcendent becomes a part of it.  He says, “Love becomes a source of suffering when the transcendental is missing.”  Hmm.…So I’ve gathered some articles and videos by him because I think his work is so important for us to understand.

English: Head-shot of Eckhart Tolle from direc...

I’ve also written a lot about love this year and if you missed any of these posts, I’ve listed them for you.  So, instead of doing a new post, I want to ask you to do this:  look over the links below, trust your intuition, and when you feel drawn to one, look at it.  It may be just what you need to hear today.

Love

Happy Valentine’s Day!  Remember we are all lovers.  We don’t need anyone to complete us although it is always nice to share our love.  Let the love within you fill your day.  You are Love!

© 2013 Georganne Spruce                                                                 ZQT4PQ5ZN7F5

 RELATED ARTICLES on Eckhart Tolle:  Relationships: True Love and the Transcendence of Duality, Eckhart Tolle – One-Sided Love Relationship – Video, Real Love Doesn’t Make You Suffer, Eckhart on Personal Love

RELATED BLOG POSTS: Awakening to Love Ourselves, Receiving Love, Awakening to Love the World, Part I, Awakening to Love the World, Part II, Diversity, Awakening to Love the World, Part III, Cooperation, Awakening to the Healing Dance: Feel the Love

AWAKENING TO NONRESISTANCE

“Nonresistance is the key to the greatest power in the universe.  Through it, consciousness (spirit) is freed from its imprisonment in form.”  Eckhart Tolle

When something happens that you don’t like, how do you respond?  Do you react?  Withdraw?  Consider multiple options for response?

Why Do We Choose Doing Rather Than Being?

The other day as I worked on my computer, the screen went black and a brief message appeared telling me there was a threat to the system, and it was shutting down to protect my data.  It happened so suddenly that my only response was stunned silence.  Then I thought, “What am I supposed to do?”  I had no idea.  This had never happened before.  I waited a few minutes and then brought up the computer in “safe mode,” and it was fine.  Then I shut it down and brought it up in “normal mode,” and it was fine.

In reflecting on this event, I found it interesting that I asked, “What am I supposed to do?” not “How am I supposed to be?”  Actually, the computer had taken care of the doing and all I could do was to be with it.  When something unexpected happens, why do I always think of what action to take first?

Transcending Limitations

In this physical life, one of our challenges is learning how to transcend our limitations and create a life that is rewarding and uplifting.  Tolle and many other spiritual teachers would tell us the secret is to be in the moment and not to resist what we experience.  Reading A New Earth: Awakening to Your Life’s Purpose, changed my life.  Tolle covered this topic so completely that I was unable to ignore the power of what he suggested.

When we are able to be in the moment, feel what we are experiencing, and let go of what is negative, it opens an entirely new path for us.  We are able to see more clearly, we are able to go deeper, and we more easily find joy.  On pages 210-211 of A New Earth, Tolle says, “When you are present, when your attention is fully in the Now, that Presence will flow into and transform what you do.  There will be quality and power in it.  You are present when what you are doing is not primarily a means to an end (money, prestige, winning) but fulfilling in itself, when there is joy and aliveness in what you do.”

Releasing Resistance

Living a life where we try to stay in the moment, doesn’t mean we don’t take action.  It just means we become aware, then choose action. It may even mean we choose to do nothing.  In being present, there is no resistance; there is no fear because it is fear that creates the resistance to begin with.  We are so conditioned in this society to do, to produce, to accomplish, and to do it quickly that we are skipping the most important step.  If we make decisions about our lives from a place of being in the moment rather than from a place of fearing and resisting, we will make more beneficial choices.

Being Spiritually Present in the Moment

The learning curve in my life this year has been so overwhelming that I can’t imagine how I would have dealt with it had I not been exposed to the many nuances in Tolle’s teachings.  Knowing how to meditate helped, but it wasn’t enough.  Now I can sit in front of my extremely long “to do” list, prioritize it, and calmly begin working with the first item.  Working with a deadline is more challenging, but the more I focus in the moment and choose not to become attached to distractions, the more I accomplish.  When I encounter a difficulty and find myself resisting it, I stop to remember how nicely things go when I don’t resist. I sit quietly for a moment, giving my mind time to process what I need, and wait for the solution to show up.  Sometimes the answer shows up right away; other times it’s clear I need to go on and what I need shows up later.

Staying in the moment is empowering because it connects us with Spirit and that gives us access to deeper and richer places within.  New ideas spring forth because we do not allow conditioned ideas from our past to create resistance and stop us from experimenting.  What we do is filled with joy because it comes from our spiritual core.  The true expression of who we are fills our lives with satisfaction and excitement.  Ego calms down and our spirit leads the way.  Without resistance, life flows like a mountain stream.

©2012 Georganne Spruce                                                             ZQT4PQ5ZN7F5

Related Articles:  On finding Balance – TolleBeing in the Moment – Tolle (video), 5 Ways to Let Go of Resistance

AWAKENING TO GROW

“The highest form of ignorance is when you reject something you don’t know anything about.”  Wayne Dyer

Are you open to changing and growing?  Or do you try to keep things the way they are despite the Universe’s hints?

Growing Can Be Challenging

I’m a day late posting this blog because I needed to spend yesterday growing.  It wasn’t the sort of growth I like.  It involved downloading new software and learning to use it, and it was very challenging.  One piece, Scrivener, is what I believe will be a very useful piece of software that will make my writing and compiling books so much easier.  I’ve been putting this off because I didn’t want to deal with the learning curve.  But I couldn’t finish the paperback version of my book without doing this, so I took the plunge.

The second software was unexpected.  When I received the book file from my friend Brad Swift who formatted it, I couldn’t open it because it was zipped.  (You technical people know what this means.)  My operating system is supposed to have the ability to unzip, but, in fact, it doesn’t.  It has a bug in this area, so I had to download another program just for zipping and unzipping.  Isn’t that just zippy!

Oneness Will Bring Us Help

Fortunately, I had some good help—from Brad, who is a coach and creative thinker.  We tried everything to get that file open, but finally had to admit, something was wrong with my computer.   I also had a great tech, Jeffrey, from Scrivener emailing like crazy, analyzing and suggesting the next step.  It was a long day.  Sometimes I left the computer to cry, sometimes to scream.  I even stopped to read inspirational thoughts once.  That didn’t help.

Well, I messed up the downloads more than once, but fortunately I could delete them and try again.  I wanted to give up more than once.  My brain felt totally fried.  Despite a part of me saying, “You don’t have to do this now,” I knew I did.  I knew that if I gave in to that part of me that is the helpless little girl, I would be very unhappy with myself.

Awakening to Our Inner Strength

You see, as a child who was often sick, my overprotective mother often told me I was too weak to do something or that I would hurt myself if I pushed too much.  So, I felt weak and helpless for a long time until I began to dance and feel strong.  It’s at times like this that my little girl sneaks out again, and I have to remind that part of me that I have recovered from helplessness and can do this difficult thing.

We all have messages from the past that occasionally haunt us, but if we are willing to grow, we say, “Ah, there you are again.  Sorry, but I need to move on.  I’m grown up now.”  Just as flowers need good soil, enough sun and water to grow, we must nourish our own growth.  It may involve feeding our inner selves with meditation, a walk in the forest, or an inspiring book.  Or it may mean trying to do something we have no idea how to do and deal with the frustration and our deflated egos as we try and fail and try again until we succeed.

Having the Courage to Try

Despite my mother’s fears that I would hurt myself, she taught me a contradictory message that has been so powerful.  She insisted that there was no disgrace in failing, only disgrace in not trying.  If you never try, you’ll never know if you can do it, and you’ll always wonder.

My file is now unzipped with the document sitting beautifully in the new software as if it had been born to live there.  Do I know how to use this program?  Sort of.  But I’ll learn more, and I’m already envisioning how it will help me write my next book.  Thank you, Brad and Jeffrey.  And when this paperback is on sale, I’ll let you know because it is a story of growth, despite many challenges, and I hope it will help others to grow too.

How have you grown lately? Please share.

©2012 Georganne Spruce

Related Articles:  Eckhart Tolle – Facing Adversity5 Ways to Let Go of Resistance, A Constant Self-Growth, Awakening to the Power of Pleasant Thoughts

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AWAKENING TO THE HEALING DANCE: RELEASING THE PAIN, PART 3

“There is no coming to consciousness without pain.  People will do anything, no matter how absurd, in order to avoid facing their own soul.  One does not become enlightened by imagining figures of light, but by making the darkness conscious.”  Carl Jung

How willing are you to be aware of your emotional pain?  Do you use pleasant experiences or material things to make you feel better or deaden the pain?  Do you have the courage to face and heal the deeper truth?

In the first blog of this series, I wrote about how our wounds often lead us to see what needs to be healed in our lives.  Although we see them as part of our emotional darkness, they are gifts.  In the second part of the series, I pointed out that we all need love in our lives and that it may come from many sources if we are open to seeing it.  Today, I want to write about the importance of letting go of our attachment to the pain we experience.

Fear of Letting go of Pain

Years ago, after a painful divorce, I began seeing a therapist to help me deal with the deep betrayal of my husband.  At the time, I was teaching modern dance and dancing with a company and choreographing.  As the therapy progressed, I began to feel better about myself and spent less time overwhelmed by negative emotions, but one day I became very upset during a session.

“Sometimes I’m afraid that getting ‘well’ will destroy my creativity. It’s changing something in me, and I don’t feel I need to create so much. I feel like I’m losing my creative edge.”

“How is it doing that?” my therapist asked.

“Because it’s the inner turmoil that makes me want to create. If I get well, I’ll have no reason to create!”

“What if being healthy makes you more creative?”

I only shrugged, but as I thought about this, I was unable to imagine how that could be so.

(Excerpted from Awakening to the Dance: A Journey to Wholeness)

Why We Won’t Let Go

We all have belief systems that keep us trapped in unhealthy places.  That’s why many people refuse to get help for their problems.  They’re afraid to discover what lies in their darkness or are so insecure that they cannot handle the idea that they have done something wrong or are not all right.  My mother is a good example.  She could not let go of the idea that she wasn’t a good Christian if she loved herself.  Her entire sense of worth was based on what she did for others.  She was a loving person in many ways, but very unhappy and took care of herself only so she wouldn’t burden others.

Sometimes, though, we take the risk, and in our process of changing, we begin to feel better and hit another layer of fear that limits our consciousness.  We may cling to our negative feelings simply because they are so familiar, just as we cling to negative relationships because they are known and nothing scares us like the unknown. Letting go of these attachments is often a big step.

Becoming Conscious of Our Shadow

Fortunately, though, after my divorce, I liked feeling better more than being in pain and decided that my ideas for dances could come from many sources, even the past negative feelings, for I could remember them, even if I no longer felt them.  I filed them away as I would any reference material and took responsibility for making myself happier.

Through therapy and through reading and attending workshops as a member of the Carl Jung Society in New Orleans for ten years, I learned to understand my difficulties and how to resolve them.  I learned about the value of what Jung calls, “the Shadow.”  It is that dark part of ourselves that we don’t want to see, but the less conscious we are of it, the more it harms us.  Becoming enlightened or conscious requires that we examine and heal it, for when we become conscious of the thoughts or experiences that have caused our pain, we can heal them, then let go and move on.

All Spiritual Healing Requires the Journey Inward

This spiritual journey inward may seem eccentric to some people who have bought into our materialistic society.  Eventually, the materialism fails to solve the problems.  The drugs that seemed to make us feel better become a destructive addiction.  All of the “cures” for our pain only create an illusion of temporary healing.  The only true healing takes place when we go within, and that is often true of physical, as well as emotional pain.  We have to bring it to the surface, heal it, and let it go.

We can free ourselves only when we become conscious.  No one I’ve read has written more clearly about our pain than Eckhart Tolle in A New Earth: Awakening to Your Life’s Purpose in his discussion of the “pain body” and how to heal it.  I highly recommend this book. (See Links I Like at the side bar)

What pain have you healed recently? Please comment.

© 2012 Georganne Spruce

Related Articles:  Eckhart Tolle Releasing the Pain Body (video), Carl Jung’s Concept of the Shadow (related to life), Overcome Your Emotional Roadblocks

AWAKENING TO WHO YOU ARE

“You have to leave the city of your comfort and go into the wilderness of your intuition.  What you’ll discover will be wonderful.  What you’ll discover is yourself.”  Alan Alda

How do you define yourself?  Do you think of yourself first as a man or woman, as a Christian or Buddhist, as an accountant or a teacher, as a cancer survivor or as disabled person?  Who are we  beneath the appearance or the definitions we and society give us?  We are so much more.  We are infinite possibilities.

Self-Judgment

How do you let your definitions of yourself limit your life?  Were you told as a child that you weren’t very intelligent?  Did you carry that belief about yourself into adulthood?  When confronted with challenging information, are you quick to say, “Oh, that’s way over my head.  I can’t understand that sort of thing.”

We make these self-judgments in many areas of our lives.  A man I knew years ago said, “I don’t know how to have a successful relationship.  I’ve failed at every one I’ve attempted.”  Like so many people, he was afraid to try one more time, unable to see that he had learned from every relationship he had.  He judged the end result of each experience rather than valuing the gifts of the journey.

We set these standards for ourselves and if the outcome of an experience doesn’t fit our vision of it, we choose to see that as failure.  At some point, we may give up, feeling we are simply inadequate, rather than choosing to explore new possibilities in relationships, job, or life styles.  We forget that we are always evolving, always capable of learning and changing.  The negative definitions, that we and others give us, distort who we think we are.

The Mistake of Choosing Ego Over Being

 Eckhart Tolle in A New Earth states, “…when you are so identified with the voice in your head and the emotions that accompany it that you lose yourself in every thought and emotion, then you are totally identified with form (things, body) and therefore in the grip of ego….Ego arises when your sense of Beingness of “I Am,” which is formless consciousness, gets mixed up with form.  This is the meaning of identification.  This is the forgetfulness of Being…the illusion of absolute separateness that turns reality into a nightmare. ” (p. 54)

Releasing Judgment, Accepting Gifts of the Spiritual Journey

We must not to lose touch with our sense of “Beingness.”  It is who we really are.  It is not in the outer form that we discover who we are.  It is the inner “I Am” that is the core of who we are, our spiritual center where all our richest treasures lie.  We must stop the swirling dance of inner thoughts reminding us of our inadequacies and failures and choose a gentle dance that calms the mind.  Then we can see who we are without any definitions.

When you leave “the city of your comfort” and “step into the wilderness of your intuition,” you go beyond all definitions.  The intuition is not rational.  It is not form or ego.  We step into a field where the labels of this physical existence have no meaning.  There, we can find the freedom to release from our lives whatever restrictive definitions limit our growth and listen for the wisdom of Spirit within.  Unattached to ego, we surrender to the natural “wildness” of spiritual life, to the acceptance that all that matters is that we know we are worthy and part of something deeper than the physical.  As we strip away our attachment to the thought forms that tell us we are not good enough, we accept our natural spiritual state, knowing that all experiences are lessons from which we may learn.  It is not about failing or succeeding in life.  The spiritual journey is about being open to learning, and Spirit is not keeping score.

How have you discovered who you really are?

© 2011 Georganne Spruce

Related Sites:  Eckhart Tolle:  Being Judgmental, You Are Not Your Mind