Healing and manifesting
Are you trying to heal yourself? Are you also attempting to attract what you want into your life?
Ever since I became involved in the personal growth movement (or whatever you call this area of study), I have heard others talk about that next thing they were working on or fixing. It was as if once that got that next thing their life would be perfect. I have to admit I was seduced into that belief. Gradually, I realized that it wasn’t ever going to happen. Then I began to accept that maybe the present moment was perfect.
Don’t get me wrong, I’m in no way there. Yet I have given up on my obsession with perfection.
Several years ago, many people moved away from “fixing themselves” and “healing” and began focusing on manifesting and the “laws of attraction”, believing that if they learned and practiced these laws, they would have that perfect life. If you weren’t attracting what you wanted, then you weren’t practicing correctly. Or enough.
With both of these approaches to life, seeking personal perfection or working on manifestation, there is the issue of the conscious mind. The meta belief (larger limitation) is that we are led to believe that our mind can discern how best to live our lives.
Both strategies will produce results, but they don’t connect to the deeper part of us… so we continue to attempt to figure out life as if it is a math problem, and the mental dance continues.
The problem is not with the “healing” or “manifesting”; the problem is with how we let our heads lead, often following someone else’s model of what life should be. A mental model of life can certainly get you moving, but at some time you need to step beyond that model and into your life. If you don’t, you will sabotage yourself from living a remarkable life.
I challenge you to give me the name of one person who made a difference in the world because he or she did everything right. Give me a name of someone who really learned the right set of the rules so well, he or she had an amazing life. I don’t know that person, do you?
Every powerful experience that serves as a catalyst for significant change or results comes from a man or a woman going deep. We don’t need intellectual inquiry. We need to be, heard, felt and understood. That only happens when we show up fully. It doesn’t happen when we are showing up living by even the best sets of rules.
Our entire culture continues to live in our heads. It’s our ultimate coping mechanism and survival strategy. It is also the ultimate control mechanism. Tell someone to follow rules to survive, and that strategy towards life is adopted. Then inside their head, they fight a constant battle between one rule and another. Or the rules they’ve been taught, and what they know to be true for them—even if it’s just a unconscious knowing. For some us it was the only way escape and the only way we survived our youth. Even if the one set of rules die, there is another set to replace them. Every so many years we switch to a “better” set of rules, but we still operate under the larger belief that life is best governed by rules.
Replacing the operating system
In his book The Hero’s Journey, Stephan Gilligan, PhD, lays out how to work with people using Joseph Campbell’s Hero’s Journey as a template for change. You don’t travel this journey mentally. You travel it with your body, your unconscious, and your emotions. There are times when you feel out of control, or least your conscious mind does.
Traveling the Hero’s Journey will upgrade your operating system. There may be a simpler way, which takes one of the elements of the Hero’s Journey and shifts how you interact with the world. In a recent email (blog post) Stephan addresses the trap of our conscious/unconscious mind duality. Here are a few excerpts:
We further see the conscious mind as being helpful when we want to repeat previous patterns, while the creative unconscious is better when new patterns or understandings are needed.
It is easy to get stuck in the rigid positions of the conscious mind, and thus repeat the past. A main focus of generative trance [the state where you solve problems or create] work is thus how to free consciousness from fixed positions, so that new learnings may occur.
His “generative trance work” work is best illustrated when you interact with someone in such a way that your questions come from a place beyond your conscious mind, and the other person’s answers come from a comparable place. For every limitation the person presents, you are able to expand the field to include it, so the duality ceases.
It’s very powerful when we can get our conscious minds to take a back seat. But it can be scary. It means letting go of your survival tools and trusting a deeper part of yourself. With that courage to surrender, amazing things can happen.
That deep place where no duality exist, that place in our unconscious that we avoid, is that sweet spot for healing and creation. We need to sponsor each other and ourselves in going there, staying there, healing from there and creating from there. When we do that you will be healing and manifesting with ease and abundance.
Please read Stephan’s blog post. The post weaves many aspects of powerful micro-community (men’s or women’s groups) into one article. He even brings in Peter Levine’s trauma work. In keeping with Stephan’s brilliance and irreverence, he composes a manifesto for us to up our game.
Stephan lays out what occurs with techniques and experiences such as: mindfulness, Authentic World’s and Decker Cunov’s Circling, Sandpoint Men’s Group’s Healing Journey, ceremony, and humor. He articulates the distinctions we embody when we are at our best: “This creative growth requires an underlying context wherein each side is equally respected, valued, and included. When this does not happen, the conflict creates symptoms and sufferings.”
If you are going to have an amazing micro-community or a remarkable life, you need to make this shift sustainable in your group and your life. If you don’t, you will be one the 98% who knows it but doesn’t live it, relegated to living a life of quiet desperation.
As Stephan says, it’s not an either/or. It is both. We can do it in a dualistic, survival manner, or we can do it in a deepening and powerful manner. I invite all of us to step up to this challenge to go deep. Step beyond the limiting belief that either you are healing or you are creating to see that they are only two aspects of the same phenomenon. Focus beyond the conscious mind to what you feel, and what you want, to lead you into the Stephan’s Generative Trance. In that state you will heal and manifest more than ever before.
Let us know how it works out.
Photo by William Cho via Compfight