When Life Comes Crashing Down – A Recipe for Healing

There are those very dark and gloomy days, the ones where everything seems to fall apart. Absolutely everything. You’d go stick your head in a hole and stay there forever – if only you could find a hole, if only you could bear a minute more of the chaos. What do you do? How do you deal with life’s most disastrous moments?

Here is a recipe for healing: Go into the bathroom and close the door. Turn on the light and look into the mirror. Take a deep breath in through your nose and out through your mouth. Feel your feet touching the ground. Feel the light shining on the top of your head. Look deeply into your own eyes. Continue looking as you say these words: I love you anyway. Maybe you screwed up. Maybe the whole world turned against you. Maybe everything you could possibly imagine went wrong. Let the words be unconditional: I love you anyway.

You may feel a big release when you say these words. You may feel rushing tears. You may feel nothing at all. You may wonder if the words could really help. You may wonder if you could ever truly mean them. Tell yourself you’ll just give them a try anyway. Then wrap yourself in a cozy blanket and go to bed. Play a relaxing meditation if you think you will not be able to sleep. Give yourself at least an hour to rest. If it is nighttime, you are all set. Repeat the words one more time as you lie down: I love you anyway.

For some of us, these are extremely difficult words to say. This is because deep, unconditional love was not modeled consistently for us during childhood. It is difficult for us to tap into it. We don’t even know where to begin to look for it. One way for us to find it is to practice healing meditation. A simple beginning exercise gives us an immediate taste of it. The more we practice it, the more it grows in our lives. We spend more time in that space of loving peace. We find it more easily. It becomes the dominant tone in our lives.

The form of healing meditation that I practice has advantages beyond its ability to bring us straight into the experience of loving peace. It provides very clear tools for shedding the layers that block our ability to experience that loving peace. We can let go of limiting beliefs about who we are and what possibilities exist for us in the world. We can release the unhealthy attachments that drain our power. We can close the gaps in our sense of self that make us vulnerable to abuse. We can wash away the wounds of deep trauma. Each step brings us back into that experience of loving peace at deeper and more permanent levels.

This work requires very few rules. You don’t have to sell your soul or swear allegiance to something you could never really believe in. Its premise is just this: the flow of the universe itself is abundant, loving, and beautiful. The more you connect with it, the more it nourishes you. The more you let go of what separates it from you, the more you grow; you find yourself living a freer, more joyful life. And the grounds for accepting this premise are very simple: you give it a try. That’s it. You try out a beginning meditation, you let yourself experience that loving peace, and then you see what it is like to work toward it. In my experience, it is here for all of us, and opening to it has, as Plato would say, a quality of remembering something we already know. Yet it is also delightfully surprising and beyond anything we can imagine.

The reason why the recipe, “I love you anyway,” works is equally simple. When we judge ourselves – when we insist that we need to be a certain way and that life needs to turn out a certain way in order to be okay – we close ourselves off to the flow. We block the very source that nourishes us, that mends our wounds, that helps us grow wiser and more loving. When we open to, “I love you anyway,” we invite the flow back in.

As it turns out, the recipe usually works even better than we imagine. We wake up not only feeling a bit of relief, but a whole lot lighter. This is because the process leads us into new territory, new avenues of the soul. When you can look yourself in the eyes during the darkest of times and say, “I love you anyway,” you are on your way to learning one of life’s most important lessons: crisis is but an invitation to transformation, an invitation to a freer, more joyful life.

Valentine for a Broken Heart

Heart

Today I posted a new guided meditation that is part of a series I am developing on how to heal a broken heart. I don’t think there is a more exquisite pain than that of a broken heart. And yet that pain has driven a great deal of my own spiritual work. At times, I think the most powerful way to open your heart – to become a source of light and love – is to let it break. This particular meditation focuses on unrequited love. Ultimately, though, its message is that there really is no such thing as unrequited love. There is conflicted love. There is misdirected love. There is blocked love. But all love at some level is felt and returned. We have to learn to set love free and to look for it not where we think it should be, but where it really is.

Try out the meditation here.

How to Achieve the Benefits of Meditation When You Can’t Focus, Relax, or Let Go

Most people know that meditation calms the mind and relaxes the body; they are also aware of the tremendous health benefits of this practice. The problem is that many people find it hard to sit still long enough to meditate. One of the most commonly taught meditation techniques is to focus on the breath. If the mind wanders, we are instructed simply to notice this and to return the attention gently back to the breath. For people with a restless or racing mind, this technique can be endlessly frustrating. They often give up very quickly on meditation or contemplative practice in general. In my practice, I have seen that the resources of energy healing can produce much better results for them. They are able to experience all of the benefits of a Zen state with ease and much less frustration. What makes the difference?

  • You’re not alone – Imagine trying to make a pizza if you’d never in your life eaten one. You probably wouldn’t even come up with the idea to make a pizza in the first place. You’d certainly need a really good recipe, and some pictures would help, too. Now imagine that a friend gives you a slice to taste and then walks you through all the steps of making a pizza. – That’s much easier, right? Energy healing uses guided meditation, which is like having a really good recipe, to take you through the process step by step. You may decide to cook and experiment on your own later – but the guidance is an excellent help for beginners and continuing learners alike. You can experience some of this benefit just by following recordings of guided meditation. But the full experience is to sit in healing with an energy practitioner – at least via Skype, or even better, in person. When they manifest the Zen state of full healing and relaxation, you recognize it right away. “So that’s what it is!” you think, and then you have that picture, that sense of having tasted a slice, both to nourish you and to guide you.
  • You don’t have to focus – Healing takes us into what I’ve called a, “Zen state.” It is beyond description, but it is the feeling of being completely aligned and at peace. All of our fears and attachments drop away, and we feel deep connection with all being. The journey to this state brings us both great healing and great insight. In this state, we move beyond either/or categories to experience their interplay as well as the truth that transcends them. It is a state of near paradox and unparalleled beauty. We realize that our selves are neither separate nor the same as others. And just as we are not fully separate and not fully the same, our awareness in this state is both sharply focused and completely open. Many forms of meditation, like the breath meditation I mentioned above, work toward this state by focusing the attention. However, since this state is both fully open and sharply focused, it can also be reached by generously allowing any and all thoughts to come. We might say that the breath technique takes the masculine route of razor-sharp focus. Energy healing, on the other hand, takes the feminine route of open, loving arms. The end state, what we’ve called a, “Zen state,” lies beyond the interplay of the two. For those of us who find focusing techniques tedious and frustrating, this is welcome news. You don’t have to try hard. Just relax and let yourself open. There are no rigid expectations in energy meditation.
  • Your senses are here to help you – Often, when we think of meditation, we imagine being in our heads. Sometimes, this may feel like a good thing. Other times, it may feel incredibly oppressive. Energy healing works from the deep interplay of mind, body, and spirit. It does not work exclusively with the channels of the mind, and its goal is not specifically to quiet the mind (though it does typically have the effect of quieting the mind.) Energy healing works with the sensations of the body, and with the light of the spirit, as much as it does with the mind. Many people who experience frustration with mind-based techniques find that they can slip into a relaxed state more easily by working through the body and spirit pathways of energy meditation – beginning, for instance, by noticing the sensations of their feet on the ground and their connection with the earth beneath them – instead of trying to focus the mind.
  • You have tools – Anyone who has been exposed to Buddhist meditation knows how important it is to let go of attachments. They are what tether us to old pictures of the world and of ourselves, keeping us from experiencing the real joy and beauty that are right here. But what if you can’t let go? What if you try very, very hard, and you only find yourself more fixed on what was bothering you? What if you know that a thought, or a feeling, or an experience is holding you back, but you still can’t get around it? – Energy healing has tools for overcoming these challenges. It can very directly release limiting beliefs, mend traumatic wounds, and open up the closed doors of our soul. It does this by working at the interplay of mind, body, and spirit, using imagery, sensation, intention, and light. These resources are very powerful for getting unstuck – even where other forms of meditation and other healing therapies have failed.
  • You’re not trying to be enlightened – Energy work is a healing practice; it is about growth and transformation. It is not about becoming a perfect being. There is no rigid expectation of how you have to be. There is no fixed measurement of where you need to get. There is simply your journey, and how you get to love and grow and experience more joy along the way. That’s it. We’re not trying to dissolve or banish the ego. We’re not trying to reach some point at the top of a mountain. We’re simply loving the being who is here, and helping them to realize the light that already shines within them.

Would you like to learn more about energy healing? I encourage you to check out my website, and to try out my beginning meditation. I welcome your comments and am happy to take suggestions for future posts.