A Guide for Conscious Living since 2009
Multi-Dimensional Mastery - October 2016 - Santa Fe
Why Most People are Asking the Wrong Questions Around Healing
Hint: If you really heal, you are actually shaping your reality.
By Dr. Judy Scher
Most people still consider healing a success when a symptom, illness, or discomfort disappears. This thought-process is based upon a mechanistic viewpoint (the body seen as a machine) where the emphasis is on the symptom and a corresponding body part that has broken down. This view thinks of the part, or the symptom, as the problem, rather than seeing the body as a global system that synergistically works with all its parts to express wholeness. The word “synergistic” describes how things (parts) work together in a cooperative manner to create an additional or new outcome. For instance, in the body, muscles must work with posture, the vertebrae column, ligaments, the way the spinal cord is moving or not moving through the canal, and breath, to communicate in a global way what is best for the body and how the body can listen in a way that supports growth and healing. Without this global connection, when ‘parts’ are working in isolation and there is no sharing of information or energy, the system will struggle to simply survive.
The intention of the mechanistic viewpoint of healing is to restore something back to where it was prior to the onset of the crisis, illness or disease, without receiving the gift or wisdom from the experience. There are times when mechanistic healing practices are extremely valuable and save lives. However, in our culture, we have confused these mechanistic practices and ways to help alleviate pain and painful symptoms with healing itself. With no new information validating where we have been, we are sure to repeat the same decisions, with the same emotions, over again, with little or nothing learned. When this happens, we go through our lives resembling machines, repeating the same behaviors, thoughts and emotions, creating similar circumstances over and over. If all we want is survival, then this can insure some level of it. However, if what we value is an increase in our range of choices – whether in the body, mind or in any aspect of our life and culture – then we need to bring in new perspective conscious awareness.
New insights, new energy, and new choices will arise when we learn from what we are experiencing. Whether we are referring to a symptom, disease, or a political system, our focus has typically been to wait till a crisis happens and only then address it, attempting to Band-Aid or ‘fix’ the symptom so that the body or system does not continue to collapse further. We often use palliative measures to make ourselves more comfortable rather than feel the distress of what is at the core or cause of what is being expressed. The symptom is not the problem; it is the expression of a system that is not functioning optimally. Chasing after the symptom is a distraction to what is really going on (That is not to say that we can’t support the ‘expression’, I’m suggesting that we go further and don’t ‘settle’ with alleviating a symptom). At some point, we may realize that there is actual value in feeling the distress – not as a problem, but as information that allows us to see that something needs to change in order for us to move from survival mode to joyful growth.
A True Healing Empowered by Life Principles
A paradigm of true healing looks at whole systems, rather than at isolated parts or symptoms. A system works effectively and optimally when there is enough energy in the system to sustain change, when all the ‘parts’ of a system are communicating and connecting and sharing wisdom with each other (whether it’s the human body, or a company, or a government). Wisdom is shared when an aspect of our being, or an aspect of our society, conveys information in such a way that the system evolves or grows instead of shutting down. With true healing, we become aware that life is responding through its intelligence. Sometimes a symptom, illness, or some kind of discomfort, looks destructive to our lives and sometimes it looks and feels constructive. Life doesn’t have a bias. It simply wants to express more life in whatever way it needs to reorganize in order to express it. We, on the other hand, may very well have a bias on how we would like it to look. The most empowering thing is learning how to work with life wisdom in order to grow in a fully conscious direction.
If by our choices we utilize the wisdom received by our experiences to create changes with regards to our body, or within the political system, we will bring a different focus, a different kind of energy, and so different outcomes, to the table. But if we are waiting for a system breakdown before we pay attention, then we are coming from a mechanistic perspective of fix-and-get-back-out-there (which can be a useful short term life saving solution, but is disastrous as a long term sustainable solution). We have to ask ourselves – is that the kind of life that we want to create for ourselves and for humanity? Life is intelligent, so if we keep repeating the same things over and over, expecting a different result, in what way are we not listening to the wisdom available to us?
As we become more aware that we can be active participants in our own healing we begin to make conscious choices to participate or not participate with what is happening in our life. Ironically, conscious participation allows for conscious non-participation as well, which is different than simply checking out or defaulting into a powerless or helpless state. This is the way we begin to shape the field of where the energy and focus can actually go. This brings into view the plasticity of how reality actually creates itself.
Conscious participation is about being in relationship with life, your body, relationships, your career, and cultural systems such as politics. Conscious participation encourages full engagement with life, bringing presence, energy, and focus that opens the door to something completely new emerging beyond what we could have even imagined. If we go beyond the mechanistic idea that healing is resetting ourselves back to a state prior to a condition, dis-ease, or discomfort, then we are engaging with an experience that brings an increase in life energy and greater participation. We can then decide where we want to put our energy and focus.
Having the experience of feeling out of control or helpless can actually bring more energy to the conversation. Instead of treating these feelings as a dead end we can get present with ourselves and allow those feelings to teach us that something needs to shift and change. Here’s an example of emergent healing, where the choices I am talking about became available:
John had chronic back pain for many years. He was doing some healing work at my Center and he got in touch with some uncomfortable emotions. His words: “I feel I got in touch with how helpless I am.” But his energy was still very low and he could not move into, much less see, what to do next. Individuals who are overwhelmed by their life, or have a traumatic history and are still living from that place of trauma, are in what is called defense posture. It’s a biological expression of a survival response. The survival response exists so that life can keep going in the midst of the most horrific experiences. We hunker down and eliminate all unnecessary life functions (these include higher organizational processes such as thinking about how to make the world a better place). Defense posture results in thoughts like: “How can I get through this day so I can get home and just relax?” For this person, bringing life back to status quo has a high value. Being comfortable has a high value, too. There is only enough energy to survive. There is no energy for growth, for healing, or for transformation and change.
So I asked John, “Where do you want to see your life go?” He immediately began to justify where he was at, remaining in that place of suffering. He wanted to be comfortable. I responded: “Is that really what you want or is that what you are accepting for yourself right now?” Our culture urges us to maintain the status quo. So unless we are taught that we have other options, we don’t know they even exist. For the person in survival mode, the first step is to be aware that this is occurring and isn’t just how life is. The first step is to start participating more consciously, simply by acknowledging what that experience is really like for them – without judgment.
Eventually John described how he wanted to see his life with his wife and child. I then asked him if he had a hunger for it? “Do you really want it?” He said yes and I asked him where he felt that desire was in his body. He pointed to his heart. So we put his hands over his heart area and brought new focus to that area in a specific way. And the energy started to become more available to him. He explained: “I still feel the pain in my back…but I feel more here. I feel more available. I feel I have more choices.”
A concept that is honored with healing is that of innate intelligence. Innate Intelligence is a term that expresses the intelligence within life and within the body that helps connect, coordinate, and inspire all life functions. Innate Intelligence is the body’s expression of life from a place of coordinated and synergistic wisdom. For instance, if you eat something toxic, the body in its wisdom will perhaps bring on a fever, or make you vomit to remove the toxin. Although this might not feel good, it’s the most intelligent thing the body can do for its survival. The same holds true if you are in a job you dislike or a relationship that’s in crisis. Your innate intelligence will give you signs that something is wrong by having you develop chronic headaches, or even an ulcer. The symptoms that are expressed in your body are not the problem. If anything, they are wise choices the body is making that let you know that something needs to change, that something is not working. Life is inherently intelligent; the problem is when we cannot pay attention and listen to that wisdom.
What this tells us is that a painful situation can still be there, that you can still be where you are, and yet when you bring more energy to the interaction of what you are working with, it changes the dynamics, and allows for new possibilities of expression.
What do we want to achieve as we pay attention to what is going on? Do we want to get out of the crisis only to return to a life that set up those circumstances to begin with, or would we like to move beyond where we’ve been in order to create new possibilities and a new trajectory for how things can be? In order to desire a different result there has to be something that draws us, something that becomes more important than staying the same. The scales have to tip so that it becomes more significant to us to change than remain the same. When there is energy available for change, not only can we heal, we can transform our body and lives into a magnificent expression of who we really are.
Article from an excerpt of the e-book, The Power of Conscious Choice and Participation: Co-creating the Healing of the Body Politic by Dr. Judy L. Scher, September, 2016.
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Judy Scher, D.C. is Director of the Scher Center in Santa Fe since 1992. She is an international teacher, workshop leader, and keynote speaker. The Scher Center utilizes cutting edge reorganizational healing tools including Network Spinal Analysis Care. For more info go to www.schercenter.com
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