If we don’t open up to change and if we hold tightly to things that are behind us, our systems suffer. Suffering can be as simple as the concealment of some unprocessed emotion, or unintentionally ignoring some unnoticed part of ourselves, or the existence of an unspoken wish to be seen in a way that we aren’t. Or weren’t. Noticing, hearing, sitting with, and unveiling ourselves is necessary for the full realization of our being.
We change water into wine every day without thinking about it, without even asking for it. We transform food into sustenance and break down molecules and perform chemistry within ourselves. We regenerate and grow taller, build muscle, heal wounds, store fats to protect ourselves from the elements. We become something new daily.
It isn’t just the ingredients and molecules within us that transform us, it is the context around the ingredients that create a specific kind of alchemy. In baking a cake, you may have eggs and oil and flour and sugar and baking soda. But if you just had the ingredients and you didn’t add motion to stir, a container to hold, heat to transform and time for the magic to happen, you’d just have a mess of ingredients with no transformation.
We are not just a bundle of ingredients: brown hair, tender heart, quick wit, tendency to cry at sad movies, long fingers, sluggish thyroid, healthy heart, cold feet, low blood pressure.
We are so much more than the sum of our parts. We are a living alchemy. There is motion within us, there are perceptions of time, there are rivers of sustenance, emotional containers, areas of heat and cold, movement and stillness. Our inner landscape is vast and intricate. We are changed by our thoughts, our emotions, our environment, what we were told, and what we chose to believe. We have hidden parts of ourselves, we have loud bold parts, we have parts that respond to our requests and parts that seem not to.
The past containers that hold our experiences within us are sometimes not helpful in achieving healing. Painful memories may be locked away tightly, without our even knowing that they are there.
Say, for instance, I stubbed my toe when I was 2, and I had a big owwie. And I wanted more than anything for someone to kiss my toe and get me a band-aid. And let’s just say at this particular time the person who was with me said, “Toughen up. You don’t need a band-aid. Shake it off.” Let’s say that the longing for tenderness within me became an unanswered call for love. And along with that longing came disappointment that what I was longing for didn’t come. So a part of me back then that’s all about survival maybe said: “Well if that longing’s not going to be answered, I’m just going to go ahead and shut it off.” And the part of me that felt disappointed might have said: “Well this disappointment doesn’t feel good so I’m going to make a decision that people aren’t capable of giving me what I need.”
Let’s say that those two beliefs then fold into that memory and stay there until further notice as means of survival. It’s practical. It’s natural. If you can imagine a fabric crinkling up into a knot into that area. And the memory goes unnoticed, buried deep into the subconscious in the millions of other things are brains keep track of. But we might be moving through our existence with that energetic knot. The knot could manifest physically within the cells of your body that might end up restricted in their ability to perform function, it could be in your thought patterns or your emotional beliefs. This knot changes your inner landscape. It’s not good or bad, it just is a way you coped back then that worked. But maybe doesn’t work so good as time goes on.
The importance of doing the energy psychology work is not to discover deep dark secrets about your past, but to let your body tell you where its past way of dealing with things has inhibited your current spiritual growth.
Loosening those knots, either energetically, emotionally is critical to freeing up the energy that can be available to you for healing. It can be physical, it can be emotional, it can be energetic, it can be conscious, it can be unconscious. Lots of different modalities are helpful in getting that unraveled and opening so that there is flow.
It doesn’t have to be painful to revisit memories, though sometimes it may be. But when you unlock that energy that’s been stored, there’s more flow. Breath comes more easily. Sometimes attention and intention alone – through meditating – cannot get you there because there are hidden stores in your body that don’t necessarily have a means of communicating with you. And that’s why it’s so important to have a spiritual practice to have resources that can address the energy body to have therapies that speak directly to the unconscious patterns.