I first heard this “inhaling the mystery, exhaling the history” in one of the variety of experiences and programs that I participated in last year. These that have taught me, through experience, the significance of releasing tension and engaging the body in order to heal long-standing, inter-generational wounds stored deep in my tissues, and intellectually forgotten about.
Truth is, despite what we collectively believe, the body doesn’t need the intellect to heal, it knows exactly what to do. The intellect simply needs to relax and choose it.
Given the rate at which the body processes information…the intellect simply can’t keep up. Where the intellect is useful, however, is in making conscious choices that support the healing process of the body.
You see, when you choose to face your demons heads on, you start to notice that they are not so scary. Yet fear holds us back from even peeking! The moment we start to peek, we feel terrified, and so emotions that we label as “negative” start to take over. Emotions like depression, anxiety, panic, anger, rage. It seems it is easier to accept those emotions than to let them flow and allow their energy to provide context for why they are appearing in the first place.
Who have you become, and who are you really, at your core? If there are discrepancies, our bodies will let us know, because we can only stray so far from the source before the energy pent up begins to manifest itself in dis-ease.
We are so terrified of feeling anything we label as “negative” that we shut down in more ways than one. Our bodies collapse, our shoulders cave in on themselves in an unconscious effort to protect our hearts, our guts start acting up, our throat constricts, our bodies shiver, our nerves fire, our brain can’t think, our breath becomes shallow and fast… our vitals shut down and our bodies cannot process what they are designed so well to process — energy, in flow.
In our society, we have trained our intellect to come in and label the type of energy as good, bad, right, or wrong. Anxiety, for example, is labelled as a bad emotion we shouldn’t be feeling (countless diagnoses under the DSM-5). We want to avoid it, to push it aside, to ignore it. Yet, when we do that, it comes back with a vengeance. So we try to control it, we medicate it with pot, alcohol, cigarettes, benzodiazepines…or we try to escape it by disconnecting from our consciousness and watching T.V., playing video games, compulsively shopping, or spending countless hours on social media. Whatever it takes, really, to find a moment of escape from the pain, however temporary that might be.
Then, when eventually that temporary solution becomes a primary coping mechanism, it becomes that much harder to silence the anxiety, which had a message to give you in the first place! If only you had listened, you would have avoided the addiction problems that likely followed and the diseases that manifested in the places in your body you didn’t breathe into. Now you have no idea how to relax into the flow of the energetic wave, the anxiety.
The body knows how to process emotion, energy, information.
It has been doing so since the beginning of life. It has processing mechanisms in place, which our intellect cannot possibly comprehend, because it was not designed for that purpose, and likely why it constantly gets in the way. Self-loathing, victim mentalities, blaming, outbursts, denials, resentments…all accepted culturally conditioned mechanisms to protect what we have come to perceive as our fragile selves. So instead of trusting that our bodies got this, we trust our intellect and proceed as if we know better…despite all the evidence to the contrary.
Today, our primary methods of dealing with mental health (as if it is different from all health) is medication (which silences the body) and therapy (which can keep us trapped in the intellect, reliving the story, reinforcing the pain).
It may sound from this post that I don’t like the intellect, but this is simply untrue. The intellect is an important component of the healing process –it is magnificent at helping put words to our experience, and to help us select one choice over another. The main problem in our society has been that we have forgotten the role of the intellect and we treat it as the be-all and end-all of all human experience. Truth is, before we can intellectualize an experience, we feel it in the body, then we put words to it and begin to dissect it in every which way.
Because we try to silence the experience of the body and impose culturally conditioned responses and logic to it, we don’t heal. We make incremental changes to our perception, while still sustaining our self-deprecating, false, limiting beliefs. After all, they kept us safe until now. And they don’t work. Unless we consider a different way of living, unless we allow the body to process the energetic waves, unless we chose to let go…we won’t create the space necessary for deep healing.
We will settle for the incremental, when we can have the instantaneous.
When I first showed up to Sheila’s “Conversations that Heal” merely a year ago, I was constantly anxious, fidgety, irritated. I learned how to relax into my bodily experience not by talking about my story and analyzing it till the sun came up, but by breathing into my experience, into the wave of energy moving through my body, into the agitation and allowing it to move, so that I can create more space for breath, for health. I now know to trust the impulses of my body, to go with the flow, to allow the wave to move…to breathe, so that I might heal –instantaneously!
I know that with every conscious inhale, I can provide my body with the opportunity to create space, to transform, to distribute essential life-force, vitality, fresh energy into every living cell. With every exhale, I can consciously chose to let go of a painful past that no longer serves me, of memories and concepts embedded in my body, of the energy stuck. Literally, inhale the mystery, the possibility, the transformation, and exhale the history, the pain, the past.
What an incredible thing!
I now know that my body will never lie to me. I trust, that “there is reason for all the pain. As you gather knowledge from the infinite sea of consciousness and life experience, you begin to evolve.” – Lynn V. Andrews, The Power Deck
I wholeheartedly credit the WEL-Systems approach for giving me the necessary tools to get my body and my life back. I still have a particularly long way to go, as growth is exponential and never-ending, however, I now wholly trust that I have the capacity within me to do heal. And who would have thought?
It’s as easy as breathing.
If you’re curious and would like to check out some free resources, I encourage you to listen to Louise LeBrun’s free podcast. If you’d rather read, she’s got a fantastic blog. So does Deb Ozarko. And Sheila Winter Wallace.