Inner Power

6 Techniques for Increased Energy & Self Healing


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Excerpts




Chapter One: All Healing is Self-Healing


Deep in the soul, below pain,
below all the distraction of life,
is a silence vast and grand
an infinite ocean of calm,
which nothing can disturb;
Nature's own exceeding peace,
which "passes understanding".
That which we seek with
passionate longing,
here and there, upward and outward;
we find at last
within ourselves.
C.M.C. quoted by R.M. Bucke

Most people think of self-healing as healing that comes only from self administered techniques. And though this is true, it is only part of the picture. In any healing situation, even in the case of medication, therapy or treatment received from a practitioner, your body heals itself in response to the circumstances that create internal harmony and balance. Alternative healing, or external modalities of treatment such as Acupuncture, Chiropractic, Ayurvedic, and massage are based on this knowledge. Even Allopathic Medicine relies on the body?s natural ability to heal itself once medications or procedures have been administered. With this in mind, all healing can be regarded as self-healing.

This may sound unusual or seem difficult to understand, but there is nothing more natural. Science and modern medicine have demonstrated through meticulous research that our human bodies have been naturally equipped with the tools needed to prevent and fight most diseases. We have powerful, intricate systems whose purpose is to repair damage, generate new cells, and fight off foreign invaders. In an environment where our body is able to operate in harmony and balance, these systems function properly and perfect health abounds. Vital cells proliferate; bacteria, viruses and our own mutated cells that could become cancer are recognized and destroyed before they can multiply; cell injury is mended; and we are filled with dynamic life energy.

And then life enters the picture. We are bombarded with constant stress, busyness, and a lack of self-care commitment and know-how. In our valiant effort to "keep on keeping on", we push too hard and lose balance and harmony. As we continue to overload ourselves over time, we begin to lose self-connection and our world "runs" us. We no longer make time to nurture our body, mind, emotions, and soul. Through this disconnection, neglect, mistreatment, and overuse, our defenses become altered and sometimes rendered totally ineffective, causing illness or disease. Our natural systems become less efficient and are no longer able to repair, regenerate or defend, and this system failure creates further imbalance, and an increase in disease symptoms.

Drawn into the external tug and pull, we forget to nurture or even touch base with our body. We also disconnect from the energy of our inner spirit causing serious spiritual illness. Through my studies and experiences in self-healing, I have come to know that when our soul comes into a physical body in this world it brings with it certain universal and self-truths. Our souls bring learning, wisdom, insights, purpose, missions, destiny and dreams. We may remember these as children but often forget our soul?s agenda as we get caught up in human living. The pressures of societal conditioning, academic learning, fitting into society, making a living, raising children, etc. capture our attention and we focus on the external aspects of making our lives happen. When we become separated from this most important part of our own nature we inadvertently lose connection with our soul?s essence, goals, passions, and therefore, our true purpose in living. It creeps in quietly, slowly, and so subtly that we don?t realize it until it has happened. The assumed and unwritten expectations and responsibilities of existing inside of our societal box rob us of our life force. This detached imbalance is an energetic causal factor that creates a spiritual illness that can quickly lead to physical illness.

Not only are we made up of energy, but our physical world is also comprised of an essence, a force commonly referred to as universal energy. Without knowing how to reconnect to our soul-self to replenish our depleted energy, we unconsciously make matters worse by erecting impermeable shields around our self for survival. This shielding is an unconscious attempt to block the incoming "attacks" and stresses from the outside world. Unfortunately, nurturing universal energy is also inadvertently cut off. Not only have we disconnected from our self, we have also disconnected from the universal life force energy that replenishes us. It is not wrong that we utilize this coping mechanism. In fact, it is quite natural and necessary. These powerful, innate survival instincts allow us to endure the most difficult of circumstances. The shortcoming with this coping mechanism is that most of us are not aware that we are closing our self off to the natural flow, the give and take, between the energies of the world and our self. We are not aware, that is, until our body tells us with symptoms such as a chronic pain, depression, illness or disease.

In order to stop this downward cycle and promote recovery it is important to re-establish an internal environment of harmony and balance that enables your body to function according to its natural design. Because vital health is the outward expression of healing that is generated naturally, internally, and unconsciously, your mission is to re-create and maintain a harmonious internal environment for yourself. Your body will do the rest. In this way, you can purposefully and consciously facilitate your body?s return to its natural internal ability to self-heal from the inside out. Unbeknownst to the busy "doing" part of your mind, you have a hidden reservoir of peace that lies deep within you, in your Soul-self, that when tapped and utilized brings you into balance and harmony. The techniques described throughout this book are designed to help you do just that. By self-applying these powerful healing techniques you create harmony and balance everyday in your own time and space. However, because we know that "all healing is self-healing" these techniques are not exclusive, and therefore, should be used in addition to medical treatment or complimentary therapies that you find helpful.

~ Creating Balance and Harmony ~

The first step toward creating harmony and balance, and ultimately health is to connect with the natural healing abilities of your personal energy. Your personal energy, also known as your aura, is the life force energy that moves through and around you. The core of this life force essence within you is your soul-self. Your soul-self is the authentic essence of you. It is the Spirit of you that came into this body when you were born and will live on after this physical body dies. It is the energy source that makes up your energy field and is also your inner core and your true being. It is the core of your soul and it is your connection point to universal energy, to the divine, to God, Goddess and Spirit. It is the God-like, Goddess-like, Christ-like, Buddha-like divine part of you. Being in touch with this part of you gives you a sense of solidness in your center and is the source of your creative and infinite power to design your world. It is your gut feelings, your senses, your intuition, your inner knowing, and your wisdom. It lies underneath your daily doings and the chatter of your mind. It is free from emotion and attachment to worldly aspirations. Your soul-self, without the chains of the world, feels wild and free like when you were a child. And though it is childlike, it is not childish. It is excitement and passion. It is primal and authentic. It is dynamic and empowering. When you are aware of, and connected with, this powerhouse within you, you are creating harmony and balance, and therefore self-healing.

To re-awaken this powerful aspect of yourself you must open to your deepest, most inner core. You must take the time to sit still, to just "Be", and to quiet down your mind and the "doings" that distract you from knowing your authentic self. The techniques described in this book will help you create a direct connection, relationship and dialog with your true deep inner soul-self through relaxation, mind focus, awareness, quiet contemplation, and inner stillness??

~ Awakening ~

As you practice self-healing you will begin to notice subtle inner shifts. In addition to renewed health, a direct result of connecting and staying connected is a quiet awakening of your inner wisdom and an emergence of your personal energy. Some view this as being on the path toward enlightenment. Through this personal growth, one becomes more awake and alert, more aware and alive. Through connecting, the state of sleepwalking in which most people unconsciously dwell is transformed into vibrant awareness. Continual connecting provides one with guidance, life-enhancing tools, and lessons that create harmony and balance when applied. Being connected, one feels relaxed and finds it easy to become still inside throughout the day, even when not practicing a self-healing technique. It is in that stillness that one notices the vibrant movement of life, and soon, their own life force too. In this state of being, stress loses its power and health reigns.

Connectedness, balance and health is your natural state of being. If you are suffering physically, then you are out of connection, and balance, and this illness is your wake up call. Disease and illness bring about an opportunity for an initiation, an opening to the universal energy that is healing. If you are hurting so badly that you are feeling like you are going to die or want to die, congratulations! No, this isn?t sick and twisted. I have been there myself, and I have observed this many times with multitudes of clients and students. This suffering has brought you to the door of enlightenment. This is your initiation into something lighter and brighter than you have ever known. If you choose to walk through this doorway, you will never be the same again??.

~ Commitment ~

Self-healing begins with a simple but powerful commitment, the commitment to make your health your priority. Any healing that you experience happens because the right circumstances for balance and harmony within your body have been created that allows you to heal yourself. You have the ability to set up these circumstances, and ultimately, you must resolve to make the difference in your life??.

Chapter Two: De-tensifying and Re-Connecting

Ultimately, we have just one moral duty:
to reclaim large areas of peace within ourselves,
more and more peace,
and to reflect it toward others.

And the more peace we have in us,
the more peace there will be
in our troubled world.
~ Etty Hillesum

We live in a tense busy world of doing, achieving, producing, and goal-attaining, creating stress that causes tension overload and soul-self disconnection. If you are aware of yourself at all, you notice some of the effects of this constant stress and disconnection from time to time with symptoms such as muscle tightness, pain, fatigue or anxiety. However, most of the messages your body, mind, and emotions send are effectively blocked by the conscious mind. We have become experts at ignoring or covering up these subtle messages. Left unrecognized and un-rectified, these messages intensify in your subconscious mind and the tension builds in your body causing energy blockages that are the prelude to illness. This devastating cycle can be circumvented with the techniques of de-tensifying and reconnecting. De-tensifying is a combination of techniques you can use to consciously address and release tension throughout the day, thus preventing the overload that causes physical, mental or emotional symptoms. Reconnecting consists of several techniques designed to help you become more in touch with, and aware of the internal messages and healing abilities of your soul-self. This chapter is filled with step-by-step exercises that will guide you through these healing techniques.

De-tensifying

~ Stress Reduction ~

All illnesses should be assumed to be stress-related until proven otherwise. Even if stress is not the primary cause of illness, it is frequently an aggravating factor. ~ Dr. Andrew Weil

A discussion about healing in our modern times must include dealing with the issue of stress. It is important to recognize that stress, and the way we handle stress, has a major influence on our behaviors and our health. We know that stress is a constant in our lives and its effects grow and compound when not released. Normal tension is the natural prelude to action; this tension motivates us to take action, which is a positive thing that we need in our lives. It was the survival mechanism that once saved us, that is now killing us because we don't know how, or don't choose to stop the process. The problem forms when we are unable to take action based on personal power loss, societal norms, personal beliefs, etc. and we are left with built-up adrenaline and tension. Pent-up stress multiplies as unresolved tension. This unresolved tension is the enemy. Chronic, underlying tension and tightness then lives in our bodies slowly stealing away our health...

This chapter teaches:

Letting go of a stressful situation

Inner Stillness

Daily Mindful Awareness

Breathing Techniques

Relaxation Techniques

Sleep

Reconnecting with your Soul-Self

Truth Spot Exercises

Meet your Witness

Deepen your De-tensifying and Re-connecting with the Alpha State of Consciousness

Healing Insights: Personal Stories of Healing

Annette is a 24 year old single day care owner/operator. From a very young age, Annette has felt anxiety and a lack of self trust. It takes her inordinate amounts of time to make a decision and then she spends a great deal of energy rehashing every detail and second-guessing her decision. Annette came to me for therapy several years ago because, as she reported to me, "I was literally driving myself crazy! It was difficult for me to function in my life and especially in my business where I had to make important decisions."

I felt one of the key issues for Annette was that she had become disconnected from her heart by spending so much time in her head. This made it nearly impossible for her to quiet herself enough to be able to get in touch with and listen to her inner self. To this end, I taught her how to enter into her internal reservoir of peace. After some practice and adding the Create Alpha State induction, Annette was able to visualize and feel her inner stillness like a calm and peaceful, placid lake. The more she practiced, the more tension and stress were released. I then taught her the Truth Spot exercise so that she could use her gut feelings to help her sense the truth, make decisions, and quiet her second-guessing tendencies.

The last time a saw her she had this to say:

"I am so amazed at how wonderful I feel now! I feel such peace and solitude in my inner stillness place and I go there often. It has become very easy for me to make decisions now. I think about my options and then close my eyes and quiet my mind. I sink my thoughts down into my quiet place in my belly and I wait for a feeling, a response to the options. Miraculously, it is always the right decision for me and I rarely question this response any more. If an occasional questioning does come in, I close my eyes, quiet my mind and return to my quiet place to check for the truth and the right answer. I almost always find that in those circumstances, my mind was trying to pull myself back into the old habit of over-thinking."

Chapter Three: Manifesting the Health You Want!

"Imagination is more Important than Knowledge." ~ Albert Einstein

Visualization is the technique of harnessing the ingenious power of your imagination for your own benefit and manifestation. This is accomplished by a combination of attention focus, systematic relaxation, creation of visual images in the mind and awareness of physical sensations. We have all had some experience with visualization whether we are aware of it or not. Perhaps you have daydreamed about an upcoming exciting event such as a vacation during a mundane task like a long drive or a household chore. You see what it?s like in your mind?s eye and feel the excitement with your emotions and in your body. Or you dread an upcoming meeting or altercation. Your mind plays out the situation, you feel anxiety and your body reacts with a heart ache or the feeling of having an empty pit in the bottom of your stomach. In this way you have experienced visualization unintentionally. By becoming aware of your innate visualization skills and using them intentionally you can use this power to create anything that you want.

Since the mind reacts physiologically to imagined events the same way it does to real events, you can create health by imagining health, just as you can manifest anything else you desire in this way. It is a well-known fact that the chemical immune response of the body is affected both positively and negatively by stimuli. Consider the destructive role that unreleased stress plays on our health. Likewise, visions of pleasure and peace can restore balance to the ravaged body, in addition to creating a feeling of relaxed calm. There is no limit to what you can manifest with the multitudes of visualization possibilities. Whatever you can imagine, you can create. It is as simple as determining what you desire in your world and putting the power of your mind, your intention and attention to work to create that reality by visualizing your world in that way.

The first step in utilizing visualization for healing is to?..

Sample Visualization for Stress Reduction:

Peaceful Tropical Beach

Take a moment to quiet yourself. Put on some beautiful relaxing music if you like. Sit or lay down in a place where you are warm and comfortable, a place where you feel safe and protected. You may choose to sit in a beautiful place in nature or your rocking chair by the fireplace. You may choose your comfy couch snuggled in quilts. You may prefer to be in your bed. Wherever the place, be sure it is comfortable and that it feels right for you. Take in a deep breath and relax. Let go of any worries or stresses. Allow your mind to relax as the muscles of your body melt deep into the place where you are sitting or laying. Feel supported and cradled by the Earth or chair, couch or bed. Allow your body to fully relax, feeling at peace. Allow the thoughts in your mind to drift away like soft clouds in the blue summer sky.

Envision yourself slipping off to a beautiful tropical beach on a warm and sunny day. In a safe and protected area on or near this secluded beach, lie down, rest, and relax. And allow the rhythmic sound of the waves washing in, and washing back out, washing in, and washing back out, washing in, and washing back out, to relax your mind and body. And as you continue to relax, focus your attention for a moment on the muscles in your toes, your feet, your ankles, and your legs. Feel those muscles as they lengthen and uncoil, loosen and relax. And as you continue to relax, allow the muscles in your stomach, your chest, and in your chest to become loose and relaxed. Feel those muscles lengthen and uncoil, loosen and relax. And as you continue to relax, allow the muscles in your shoulders, arms, hands, and fingers to become loose and relaxed. Feel those muscles as they lengthen and uncoil, loosen and relax. And as you continue to relax, allow the muscles in your neck, your face, and in your head to become loose and relaxed. Feel those muscles lengthen and uncoil, loosen and relax. And as you continue to relax, allow the muscles everywhere in your body to become loose and relaxed. Feel those muscles as they lengthen and uncoil, loosen and relax. Deepen your relaxation and enter into an altered state of consciousness by slowly counting in your mind from 1 to 21, relaxing deeper and deeper with every number that you count. Know that when you reach 21, you will be completely calm and relaxed. . 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, 11, 12, 13, 14, 15, 16, 17, 18, 19, 20, 21, deeply and totally relaxed.

And as you continue to relax, sit up for a few moments to look around this peaceful secluded beach. Notice the turquoise blue of the ocean water and the white caps as the waves crest over the coral reef to your right. And notice how the ocean and the sky seem to melt into one and yet at times become distinct separate beings out on the horizon in response to the fall of waves. Watch the waves as they wash in, and wash back out. Wash in, and wash back out. Wash in, and wash back out and allow the rhythm to rock your body. Feel the gentle trade winds lightly sweeping over your skin and watch them play with the palm tree fans. Take in a deep breath and relax. Feel the calm peacefulness of being alone with the ocean. (long pause) The tiny particles of warm sand sparkle in the tropical sun and envelope your feet in a thin blanket of warmth. Take in a deep breath with your mouth open. Notice that you can smell and taste the sea in the air. And now with all of your senses filled with the healing power of the ocean and seashore, lie back down and relax. Close your eyes, take in a long deep breath, let it out, and fully, totally, completely relax your mind, your emotions and your body. Melt into the sand?.melt completely and totally into the sand. Become aware of any messages that are coming to you from inside of yourself. Allow your inner wisdom to interpret any information that you need to know. Acknowledge it and then let it go, knowing that it will return to you when this exercise is finished. And now let everything go. Let everything melt into the sand beneath you??

And as you continue to relax, sensually feel the warm sun penetrating into your body. See the warm rays melting into your center, warming, healing, and soothing the core of your body. And now feel the glowing warmth spread out through your entire body. Feel it move through your chest and thighs, radiate out through your arms and legs, to the very tips of your toes and fingers, and through your neck and face to the top of your head. Tangibly feel the warming, glowing sunshine moving all through your body, healing your body, healing every aching muscle, every stressed cell. And just relax with the warmth and let it settle into your very being.

And as you continue to relax, know that there is nothing to do, nothing more to do, nothing but relax and enjoy. Relax, and enjoy. Just relax, release and relax. Let go of everything that you hold in your mind. (long pause) Let go of everything that you hold in your body, letting it all melt into the place where you lay. (long pause) Let go of all of your emotions and feelings. (long pause) There is nothing, ..nothing,..nothing, just be. (long pause) Just be still, and quiet inside...(long pause),..lose yourself in the quiet for as long as you can......

And as you become more aware of your body once more, bring the warming healing energy of the sun back into the center of your body. (long pause) Visualize this powerful energy concentrated in the core of your being; swirling, warming, soothing, healing powerful energy in your solar plexus. Focus all of your attention on the swirling sun energy and visualize it glowing within you. Feel it glowing within you. And know that this radiant sun will live in your solar plexus from this point forward and nourish your entire body and soul with its warming healing life force energy.(long pause) Focus on your inner sun, seeing and feeling its power for as long as you have time for, (long pause) and when you are ready to return, slowly and gently return to your ordinary consciousness. Count back from 21 to 1, return to consciousness feeling healthy, happy, and full of life, slowly open your eyes and allow yourself time to shift. Be gentle with yourself, take in a deep breath, and notice how you feel.

Allow yourself to gently return to full ordinary consciousness. Take a few moments to just notice what you feel with all the senses of your body, your thoughts, and your emotions. You don?t have to do anything with these feelings, just notice them. Become aware of what remains the same, and of any changes that you may sense. Journal your thoughts and feelings, fully expressing yourself as deeply and openly as possible..

Healing Insights

Dawn is a dynamic woman who is a nurse at a large local hospital where she met and fell in love with her life partner Rea. Some years later Rea was diagnosed with cancer and at the time they attended my training Rea was in a great deal of pain and was losing her battle with cancer. The following letter from Dawn explains what happened and how visualization techniques have been helpful for her.

She writes:

"Dear Colleen. Your letter does find me well. Traveling down the path of life in a spiral direction. I do want to start out by saying that Rea crossed over to Spirit in Feb. 2002. What a great gift I was given to participate in her death dance. So now I'm on a path of self discovery. Here's a little of my story.

I signed up for the class you offered because I knew the journey with Rea would require much energy and I needed to pull not only from myself but from the "Universe." I also realized I needed to stay "healthy." Meditation and visualization struck a cord in me, so I signed up. The practices that I took from the class enabled me to increase my inner strength and build a strong connection to Spirit. That gave me the power to walk in balance through Rea's illness. There are two techniques that I use on a regular basis. The first is the charka meditation/visualization. I do that exercise with my "jogging." It really keeps me in balance with the world. The other is the journey to my "medicine place." It is the "safe" place I could go to and drink up the stillness allowing soul healing. So the practices I was shown played a role in my personal growth yesterday and today. So Colleen, there's a bit of my story. I know my Spirit helpers were looking out for me when I signed up for the class. Love, Dawn"

Chapter Four: Powering Up with Energy

"A healthy body is filled with a force that is vibrant, dynamic and constantly interacting with the world."

Energy healing seems unusual and perhaps even mysterious to the modern Western World, though it has been practiced globally since the dawn of mankind. In fact, many current methods of treatment, such as acupuncture and Reiki, are based on the healing power of moving energy through the body. Quantum physics tells us that the entire universe and everything in it is made up of energy. Therefore, we know that the human body is made up of energy as well. Energy healing entails utilizing this universal life force energy that already exists around us to re-ignite, power-fill, and move our own energy. According to Barbara Brennan, author of Hands of Light, "The Human Energy Field is the manifestation of universal energy that is intimately involved with human life. It can be described as a luminous body that surrounds and interpenetrates the physical body, emits its own characteristic radiation and is usually called the aura". Throughout history shamans, mystics, psychics, and intuitives have been able to see this energy and describe it as a radiant haze around the body. This energy body, or spirit body, is associated with heat and appears like flames or heat waves around a person. Individuals with strong connections to spiritual life force power have pronounced personal energy that radiates brightly from their energy field. This is why depictions of avatars, saints, and spirit beings, such as angels and guides, typically have halos encompassing their heads. We all have halos, though the intensity varies based on our ability to build and maintain this personal energy. The physical manifestation of the energy or spirit body can be visibly witnessed with Kirlian photography and other sensitive scientific instruments, but rather than talk about energy from a scientific perspective let me point out ways in which you may already be aware of energy.

Most of us know the "good vibes", "bad vibes" designation of what we feel when we are around certain people or in certain places. We say things like, "this place feels warm and comfortable", or "you could cut the tension with a knife". This is energy that we are sensing, the energy of people, places, animals, and Spirits. All things vibrate, and this vibration is felt and read by our energy systems. Likewise, we send out energy vibrations that others feel and read. This energy exchange is clear when you consider your responses to meeting someone that you instantly don?t like or are instantly attracted to. The effect is like a magnetic push or pull, repelling or attracting. This response does not happen in your head from thought, it occurs in the senses of your body's "aura".

Awareness of energy is a difficult thing to comprehend at first. You may need to develop your responsiveness skills and use all of your senses to feel the subtle energies. This takes practice. Begin by trying this exercise in energy play. With palms open and hands relaxed, rub your hands together. After doing this for a few moments slowly pull them apart really sensing what you feel. Do you feel the heat and pull of the energy? It may feel rather sticky, making it subtly harder to pull apart. You may also feel the pulsing and vibrating of the energy. Another exercise is to hold one hand palm up and draw circles about a half an inch above the palm using the index finger of the other hand, not touching the palm. Can you feel heat or a tingling outline of the circle?

The energy moving exercises described in this chapter are designed to facilitate this same flow of energy throughout your entire body. You may feel the powerful energy right away as you perform these exercises or it may take time and practice for you to begin to notice an increase in awareness and ability to tangibly feel energy. Once energy sensitivities evolve, it becomes possible to harness the power of universal energy to send out effective prayers, and to consciously bring this life force into the body for self-healing and fortification.

Healing Insights

Amber is a high-spirited stay at home mom who suffers from debilitating anxiety. Spiritually she is a devout practicing catholic who has tended to shy away from all things considered "New Age", though she has practiced meditation from time to time. When the anxiety progressed to the point that she became unable to meditate or sleep well and as she became aware that she was short and biting with her husband and young children, she made an appointment with her family physician. After a lengthy discussion they decided to try a regimen of the anti-anxiety medication Welbutron. When two subsequent increases in the medication did not yield results, Amber instituted a program of eating whole raw foods. She also came to the Deatsman Program workshop hoping to learn techniques that would help her cope with the anxiety and eventually discontinue the medication.

Several years later Amber attended one of the advanced workshops where she shared her story of healing with the group. "After the first workshop I began to religiously perform many of the energy movement exercises, specifically the Rainbow Fountain and the Rainbow Waterfall, several times throughout the day. I found these the easiest to fit into my busy schedule and I didn?t have to sit and try to quiet my racing mind with techniques that usually left me feeling more anxious and frustrated than before. I found that within a few days I had become much more clear thinking and calm. After several weeks, I was more easy-going and accepting of others. I effortlessly coasted through the once-considered tragedies of milk spilling and squabbling children and even became tolerant of my husband?s brash and hurtful family. After three months I returned to my doctor, described my self-healing techniques and we began to fade out the Welbutron. I still consciously use the techniques every day throughout the day and also find that they slip into my mind as a natural part of my thought processes. I no longer take any medication for anxiety."

Chapter Five: Self Hypnosis

"A happy life begins with tranquility of mind" ~ Cicero

Hypnosis has long been associated with the unknown and the mysterious. Its exhibition in sideshows by magicians and "mentalists" causes us to think it borders on the supernatural or that it might even be a hoax. We've been shown that a hypnotized subject loses control over their actions and are at the mercy of another. Showmanship and the distorted portrayal of hypnosis in movies and television have caused us to be wary of this beneficial treatment used for decades by healers, dentists, doctors, and mental health therapists.

Hypnosis is a method of quieting the conscious critical mind via systematic relaxation to access subconscious recall or plant suggestions. The practice of Hypnotherapy is the use of hypnosis in a controlled therapeutic environment by a trained hypnosis professional. It is commonly used for many healing issues including: enhancement of body healing, trauma, abuse, low self esteem, anxiety, fears/phobia, stress control, body healing, sleeplessness, improved health, memory recall, pain control, creativity enhancement, increased energy, concentration, exam anxiety, inner child healing, inner guidance, athletic performance, and more. The altered state of consciousness induced in hypnosis is a natural state that occurs everyday. Experiences such as daydreaming, gazing into a fire, and being lost in thought while driving, are examples of how the mind naturally experiences trance. In these daily occurrences, as in hypnosis, the mind quiets to the outside world allowing internal focus. Physiologically, the mind relaxes into an alpha brain-wave state while body processes are slowed. Heart rate, respiration, and blood pressure lower. The body and mind are relaxed, allowing tensions to release. This is not a sleep state, but a state of heightened internal awareness. While in this state, we can access long forgotten experiences, focus healing in our bodies, zero in on issues, examine causes, find solutions, and eliminate problems. Hypnosis is effective due to this focused concentration that eliminates outside interference. When the conscious critical faculties of our minds are at rest, the subconscious is free to recall and process issues without judgment.

In a typical hypnotherapy session, the client is guided into a relaxed alpha brain wave state by the therapist using an induction that involves relaxation and visualization in a serene and emotionally safe environment. It is important to understand that hypnosis occurs only as deep as an individual feels comfortable so that all hypnosis is therefore self-hypnosis. Even deeply hypnotized individuals are aware and in control. Life experiences are processed at both the conscious (aware) level and the subconscious (beneath) level. The subconscious level stores everything we experience, and though this information may not be available for immediate conscious recall, it is not forgotten. Memories in our subconscious mind have an impact on our daily lives and influence our actions and reactions in ways we may not be aware of consciously. If you are considering hypnosis to assist in processing traumas or emotionally charged concerns, a Hypnotherapist with mental health expertise is recommended. The advanced therapeutic skills they utilize may be valuable in your healing process.

Self-hypnosis is the utilization of the technique of hypnosis for self-healing. It is very similar to the practice of visualization though the intention is placed more specifically on the suggestions given once you have reached deep relaxation and the alpha state of consciousness rather than the visualizations and sensations that you may experience while in this state. Self-hypnosis is easy and entails self-recording a tape with a series of body and mind relaxations, visualizations, and suggestions for healing. I recommend creating expanded versions of the visualizations you have already found helpful such as imagining yourself in a peaceful and beautiful environment that warms your body and boosts your immune system. Building on the success of these visualizations, simply add the inductions that facilitate deep relaxation described in this chapter, and the suggestions that you want for individualized symptom relief and overall healing. Create a warm comfortable environment with no interruptions, play the tape, and just allow yourself to flow with the suggestions, taking you to beautiful relaxing far off places where your body is warm and healthy. Listening to this tape on a regular basis facilitates even deeper healing.

Making your own personal tape is easy....

Basic Self-Hypnotic Induction for Self-Suggestion

I recommend that just before you begin your self-hypnosis induction that you take just a few moments to cleanse your energy field using the Rainbow Waterfall visualization from chapter 4 to clear away any energetic debris before you begin the self-hypnotic induction. After several moments of clearing:

Allow your eyes to naturally close. Take in a long deep breath. Feel the air nurture your lungs. And as you exhale, allow all the stresses, and all the tensions of the day to release with the breath. Allow your mind to relax. Allow your body to relax. Take in another long, deep breath, holding the air for a moment, and then releasing all the stress, and all the tension, along with the breath. Take in yet a third long, deep breath and allow your body to relax as your breath slowly exhales from your body. Feel your body melt into the softness of whatever you are sitting or lying upon. Release and let go. Relax and let go. Imagine that you are lying on a warm sunny beach in the tropics, feeling the glowing sun warming your body. And as you continue to relax, listen to the waves as they wash in, and wash back out. Wash in, and wash back out. Wash in, and wash back out. Feel your body relax with the rhythm of the ocean mother. The rise and fall of the waves clears your mind, and your body fully relaxes, as you breathe normally....

Healing Insights

Becky writes:

"Hello Colleen,

I have been wanting to thank you for the Healing Workshop at Sparrow Hospital. I learned so much and keep your notebook handy as a reference. As it has worked out, there are a couple of things that have become regular practices in my life. I know there are many more useful techniques that we learned that day, but due to time and energy constraints I have focused on two things that seem very useful. I will probably be incorporating more things in the future.

If you remember, I am dealing with Chronic Fatigue Syndrome which was kicked off by a long bout of EBV.

I recorded your self-hypnosis script with a personal message to myself on a CD. I listen to this at least once a day and sometimes two or three times a day. It never fails to bring me peace and rest. It allows me to schedule rest and sleep on a regular basis rather than waiting until I am exhausted. And it has never failed to put me into a deep sleep. It "stops the wheels from turning in my head" so that I can let go of the very tiring mental stress that seems just as tiring as physical stress and maybe more so.

Thank you again for opening up new paths for me and giving me hope and more good tools to use in becoming healthy in mind, body, and spirit. I do hope that things continue to go well with you. Sincerely, Becky"

Chapter Six: Cultivating Awareness

~ Meditation ~

"Mindfulness is the miracle by which we master and restore ourselves." ~ Thich Nhat Hanh

Meditation is "a systematic technique for taking hold and concentrating to the utmost degree our latent mental power. It consists of training the mind, especially attention and will, so that we can set forth from the surface level of consciousness and journey into the depths," according to Eknath Easwaran in his book, Meditation, An Eight-Point Program. Meditation is a practice of mind control and focus known as mindfulness. Mindfulness is bare awareness in the present moment. In the singular silence of the present moment there is no past or future. A still mind, without the whirl of churning thoughts, anchors the heart in the present and opens the path to clear vision. Clear vision facilitates self-knowledge, relaxation, inner peace, joy, and calmness and is the foundation for the development of a liberating wisdom that Zen Master Thich Nhat Hanh refers to as the "Great Awakening". In this great awakening, we become aware of our true self, in all of our beauty and in all of our ugliness. We learn who we are inside of our kind-heartedness, compassion, greed, pride and judgments. We learn about our motivations for what we think and how we act, and the inner landscape of our psyche. In this mindfulness, we become aware of our powerful strengths and the patterns and programmings that limit us. As we get to know ourselves in our true nature, we become aware of the details and the true nature of our surroundings, our families, our work, our hobbies, our world. In this awareness, there is freedom from masks, veils, and illusions. We can find a peaceful centeredness in this freedom. In this quiet state of being, we are open to receive and listen. The practice of mindful meditation creates an attitude and an awareness that carries over into everyday life.

According to Thich Nhat Hanh in his book The Miracle of Mindfulness, A Manual on Meditation, beyond awakening, another benefit of meditation is total rest. "Even a night of sleep doesn't provide total rest. Sitting in meditation is nourishment for your spirit and nourishment for your body, as well. It is possible to find total rest in a sitting position, and in turn to advance deeper in meditation in order to resolve the worries and troubles that upset and block your consciousness."

There are many ways to meditate..

Healing Insights

Judy and I became acquainted when she attended therapy to reduce or alleviate stress and anxiety. Judy is stay-at-home mom by choice with two beautiful daughters and what she describes as a challenging marriage. Judy has chosen to stay in a difficult situation for the benefit of her children. After experiencing several short episodes of depression mixed with anxiety, she recognized that in order to do so she would have to learn some techniques to help her cope. During therapy, we explored several of the Power Tools techniques and Judy immediately identified with meditation.

Each week in therapy Judy reported that meditation was helping her to feel more connected with her body and that she was feeling more ease, comfort, and strength. When summer vacation for her daughters rolled around Judy was concerned about when and how she would be able to fit in her "personal therapy" as she called it. As luck would have it, during the first week while Judy was meditating her oldest daughter needed something and cautiously entered the room. Watching her Mom for a few moments, she felt the calm peacefulness her Mom was experiencing. She calmly sat down and waited for her Mom to respond to her presence. Ten or fifteen minutes later Judy opened her eyes to find her daughter sitting and "meditating" in the room with her. A few minutes later Rachael opened her eyes to find her Mom smiling softly toward her. As they discussed the experience Rachael admitted that she was just waiting and then her mind automatically slipped into a quiet meadow filled with flowers and butterflies. She became engrossed in watching the butterflies and forgot what she came to ask her Mom. As Judy listened to her daughters healing experience she knew that it would be important to teach her children the healing art of meditation, and she did. All that summer Judy and her two girls meditated together for fifteen to twenty minutes on the sunny porch with quiet undulating music in the background.

That was almost ten years ago now and Judy and her daughters are still avid meditators. Judy has remained calm and centered and able to grow and thrive in a difficult, but loving marriage. Rachael is now in her first year of college studying alternative healing and exploring how to best use her gifts of being able to feel, see and sense energy. Raeanna is active in high school soccer, and both school and church choir. She uses meditation to focus her energy, thoughts and feelings prior to games and performances. Because of the benefits Ralph has witnessed with his family he has recently begun to attempt the technique of meditation that he once considered "hokey voodoo new-age girly stuff" with good success for a beginner. Judy is hopeful that this will turn the tide in their marriage.

Chapter Seven: Journey To Wholeness

In Awareness there is honor,
Recognition of life,
Thankfulness,
Gratitude,
Boundlessness,
Limitlessness,
Knowledge beyond experience,
Wisdom of the ages,
Truth,
Trust,
Interconnectedness,
Oneness,
Joy out of the mundane,
Deep appreciation,
Value in living,
Tangible evidence of movement,
Expression of life force,
Awakening the Great Mystery?
Seated deep in my soul.
~ Colleen Deatsman

The Healing Art of Personal Journeying

In shamanism, the maintenance of one's personal power is fundamental to well-being. ~ Michael Harner

Journeying is a cross-cultural healing technique that comes from our ancestral roots in shamanism. In most cultures throughout history the intention of learning how to journey has been to become a shaman to help others heal, however, harnessing the power of the journey for oneself is also a potent technique for self-healing. Useful for restorative relaxation, energy movement, and deep personal healing on all levels, personal journeying often feels like "coming home" because it re-connects us with our true self and the divine. A strong healthy body is but one of the many rewards that journeying on a regular basis delivers. Peace and calmness seep into everyday life from this connection of soul-self with spirit. It is also a joy to meet the many Spirits who are available to help us live life to the fullest, to explore new worlds, to query deep into the inner self, and to personally connect with the divine.

Personal Journeying is based on the concept that there is an interconnected web of energy and power between all things, that we call spirit. This spirit web is the life force and power of life. For most people the world appears to be an ordinary place comprised of a physical environment that can be explained by science. We perceive people and objects as being solid and material. The spirit web of life is a non-ordinary world that encompasses, underlies and runs through the ordinary physical world. The ordinary world is dependent on the web for its life force energy and existence. The web pervades all of life and is real and present, just outside of ordinary perception. Journeying is a technique that unveils the non-ordinary world and allows us to touch and perceive the web. Shamans use this technique to see the interconnectedness of life and utilize this power and knowledge for the healing and guiding of others. In this same way, the personal journeyer can access the web for power to heal themselves. Through conscious intention of connecting with the power of the web, the journeyer becomes power-filled, thereby accessing powerful life force energy that heals. Used in this way, the power of personal journeying is unmatched as it facilitates restoration of wholeness and power to the mind, body, emotions, and soul.

Though shamanism is the oldest living path of spirituality and healing, many people have never heard of it, or don't know what it is. Shamanism is not a religion, it is a method of healing and a spiritual way of living based in animism. Animism is the understanding that all things are living, connected to the web, and have a soul; trees, animals, this magazine, the chair you are sitting in, and you and me. Shamanism represents the most widespread and ancient methodological system of mind-body healing known to humanity. It has been effectively in use for approximately 40 thousand years and has existed on all continents giving it many cultural flavors. It is experiential, not dogmatic, nor does it have a specific set of rules to follow. In most countries shamanism co-exists, blends with, and compliments at least one other religion, including the major world religions of Christianity, Buddhism, Hinduism, etc. The term Shaman (pronounced SHAH-maan) has been adapted from the Tungus people of Siberia meaning "one who sees in the dark". This name denotes the ability of the shaman to journey out of space and time into non-ordinary reality where they connect with Spirit Teachers to diagnose and treat illness. They are often called "seers" or "knowers" because of this ability to journey into non-ordinary reality and experience information first-hand. The shaman is the "middleman" between the ordinary reality in which we live and the non-ordinary reality that exists just outside of our everyday perceptions. The role of the shaman is diverse. Shamans are the counselors, advisors, and psychologists of their communities. In the capacity of healer, or medicine person, the shaman journeys to the Spirit world (otherworld) to connect with their Spirit Allies or Spirit Teachers. While there, they use an array of techniques and always Spirit guidance to diagnose illness etiology and restore wholeness and power to the person. In shamanism, most illnesses are considered spiritual illnesses and therefore can be affected by spiritual intervention. The shaman may also impart wisdom offered from the spirit world to assist the client on their path of healing and walking in balance.

Studying shamanism, learning basic journeying techniques and practicing personal journeying does not make one a shaman. To become a shaman requires a deep, undeniable internal calling, not to mention intense self-exploration, initiations, and a lifetime dedication to study, training, apprenticing, experiencing, healing, and practicing. It is no easy undertaking and one that few ever consider. It is by inner drive, not mere choice, that a seeker becomes a shaman. The focus of this chapter is not on how to become a shaman, but how to use the technique of the personal journey to heal yourself by connecting with the divine universal energy of your soul-self and Spirit Teachers.

We all have Guardian Spirits, known shamanically as Spirit Teachers, Spirit Allies, and/or Power Animals. Many people familiar with working with Spirits may also refer to these as Spirit Guides or Totems. For ease of reading, I will refer to these power sources with an all-encompassing term of Spirit Teacher(s). Spirit Teachers are Spirit energies that appear to us and to the shaman in diverse ways. They may appear in Angelic, human, energy-being, animal, bird or insect form. They may also appear to us as Ascended Masters such as Jesus, Buddha, Mother Mary, Quan Yin, great past shamans, past teachers and healers such as Edgar Cayce, Albert Einstein, and other lesser known but powerful healers and teachers. Shamanic cultures believe everyone is born with a guiding Spirit that protects us and shares its power with us. Michael Harner learned in his worldwide studies of shamanic cultures that connections to Spirit Teachers not only increase one?s physical energy and ability to resist disease, but also increase mental alertness and self-confidence. We create a partnership with our Spirit Teachers and their "work" is to help us through our lives. They also grow and benefit from this alliance.

This Spirit help may be lost to us for many reasons. If we have not honored our Spirit Teachers, recognized them, or asked for their help, they may distance from us. Substance abuse, spiritual ignorance, and disregard for walking one?s destined path can also cause this Spirit disconnection. When a person becomes dis-spirited, meaning separated from their Spirit Teachers and their soul-self, they experience a power deprivation in which they may feel lost, depressed, or unconnected without awareness of why these feelings occur. Symptoms of this power loss can include: chronic fatigue, chronic illness, depression, weakness, on-going misfortune, absent-mindedness or inability to focus, and other chronic problems. Often people with power loss are struggling with emotional issues as well. Power loss may also be indicated if a person is having difficulty with his or her own personal journeys, meditations, or intuitive connections. Another symptom of having been dis-spirited is when a person feels they have lost their way. There are times in life where we feel disconnected from Spirit, from ourselves, from our purpose, and from our lives. We may feel we are struggling along without choice or direction. It may be that we have become disconnected from our Spiritual help. Often, all we need is the extra boost of reunification from journeying to our Spirit Teachers and Power Animals. This creates a bridge from our physical world to the Spirit worlds and reconnects us with our lost power.

Reconnecting with your Spirit Teachers is beneficial in many ways. It raises your vibrational rate allowing you to fill with, and hold, personal power. This personal power is your life force and our essence. It is what gives you the energy to find joy in life, to have direction and purpose, and to live rather than merely exist. This is certainly the energy George Lucas, writer of "Star Wars", was referring to when he referenced "the Force". Feeling lost, powerless, depressed, or ill is a signal that it is time to reconnect with "the Force" of Spirit, and to your own "Force".

Most everyone can journey since it does not require any special talents. However, certain skills are utilized that are not common in our busy society and may require honing before successful journeying is attained. Relaxation, imagination, focus of intention, concentration and surrender are the skills needed. The ability to relax and quiet the mind allows us to move from the ordinary world into the non-ordinary world. Imagination is the vehicle that begins the journey and opens the doorways and tunnels that connect us with the non-ordinary world. Focus of intention is the link that moves the imagination forward and into connection with the web. Concentration trips the conscious critical mind that judges, analyzes, and tries to convince us that the non-ordinary does not exist. Surrender is the ability that allows us to go into the feeling of the moment without attachment to outcome. It is not a giving up of your self, but a giving over to the experience. It is loosening the tight grip we hold on our minds, bodies, and our perceptions of the world, and a relaxing of the need to be in control. Successful journeying is so simple that it eludes us sometimes when we first begin, but through continuing attempts, and by honing the necessary skills, we usually meet with success. Simply relax and allow the experience to flow. Sometimes we try so hard to will something to happen that it isn?t able to flow. As you practice the technique of journeying, let go of your will to accomplish and just allow the energy to flow through you. Feel the expanding of your mind with this flow. Let go. Have fun. You may have a serious intent for your journey, but exploration of the non-ordinary spirit world is a pleasant and joyful adventure. Relax and enjoy this as you enter the world of personal healing.

Learning to Journey - Healing Insights

This self-explanatory story from Jan describes the healing powers of personal journeying.

She writes:

"I began doing shamanic journeys in 1992, when I bought a tape telling you how to journey on one side and drumming on the other. I journeyed once in awhile when I felt like it, but not regularly. One day at work, in May of 1998 I went numb from my breasts down. After many tests, tears, and aggravation I was diagnosed with Multiple Sclerosis. Shortly after, a group of friends and I contacted Colleen to learn journeying and shamanism. It felt like a homecoming. I was also drawn to learn Reiki from her. My M.S. has ups and downs, and through it all I keep healing. I have had several amazing healing experiences and have come to the conclusion that I am not defined by the M.S., and that healing doesn't necessarily mean no M.S. symptoms. However, the M.S. has been in almost total remission for nearly a year, with symptoms only acting up when I am not connected to Spirit. Our group gets together with Colleen about once a month and I want to share 2 experiences we had.

In one, we were to journey to the far reaches of the universe where the horizon ends. I did and fell through an opening in the ground. After falling a good distance I landed in a dimly lit, smoke-filled, stinking of spilled alcohol and stale cigarettes room with a piano, several tables and chairs, and a typical obnoxious lounge singer with a microphone singing "Feelings" (kind of like Bill Murray on Saturday Night Live). Needless to say this was not a typical journey scenario...He leaned over and told me he was my ego. I thought, "Oh great!", my ego is a cheesy lounge lizard...what does that say about me? I plopped down in a chair. He leaned over my table (with a nasty cigarette hanging out his mouth and a cocktail in one hand) and sang "It's time for me to die and you have to kill me." Well, I'm basically not comfortable killing things (I even take spiders outside instead of squashing them), so I told him no, he should just go away. He sang (in the most annoying way) that for me to heal I need to move past my ego and he had to die. We end up getting in this argument with me telling him I wasn't going to kill him and him singing loudly that I had to. He was really getting on my nerves, singing louder and louder, cheesier and cheesier, and I began to want to kill him. The more I wanted to kill him the worse he got. I held my hands over my ears and that just seemed to amplify him. I finally jumped up and put my hands over his mouth and began squeezing. He started shrinking and as he shrunk I began feeling better and better. I felt freer and more open as he shrank until he was just a tiny little lounge singer in the palm of my hand and I closed my palm and he disappeared. I felt a clearness I seldom felt, and a realization of how the ego keeps us from connecting with others and with Spirit. About that time the callback started and I returned to the room laughing. I am forever changed!

Chapter Eight: Healing Journeys

Personal journeying is an experiential discipline. It can only be fully understood within that context. Because of this, it is often very difficult to grasp the nature of journeying until you have done it. Up to that point, it may even seem a little frightening or, at the very least, confusing. In order to give you a bit of perspective, I have compiled a set of personal journeys that I have experienced to introduce you to the world of the Spirits and the web of life that has been integral to my recovery. In this chapter you will find descriptions and interpretations of my experiences intended to give you some idea of what you might experience in your journeys. These may also give you ideas of intentions for your journeys. I recommend that you journey daily and that you vary the intentions of your journeys to help you with whatever is happening in your life, body, mind, emotions, and soul. Sometimes when you journey you may have a lot of inner mental and emotional work to do so use the journey with the Psyche Inventory process to help provide guidance and clarity. Sometimes your body will be low on vital life force energy so journey to re-energize and heal your body. Sometimes you may find that you have become disconnected with your soul-self, Spirit Teachers, and/or the Great Web of Life so journey to reconnect. Journeys are invaluable if you search for understanding, awareness, personal growth, and enlightenment, so I have included examples of all of these types of journey experiences throughout this chapter.

Though each journeyer experiences the Spirit worlds in unique ways, many aspects are often similar. In my practice, I have found that it is beneficial for the beginner to learn about Spirit world possibilities and frames of reference by sharing with others. The first series of journeys guide the reader into the landscapes of the lower, upper, and middle Spirit worlds as I experience them. Following these is a series of movement journeys, demonstrating that not all journeys occur while lying down or when listening to rhythmic drumming. The more experience we gain through the classic journey (explained in chapter 4), the more we open to the possibilities of spontaneous journeying and journeying by different methods. For many, the monotonous repetition of movement may facilitate the same altered consciousness effect as a rhythmic instrument.

The next series of journeys describe the power of self-healing utilizing the shamanic journey. All shamanic journeying creates a direct link to the divine energy that flows through the entire universe. Connecting with this energy flow increases the vibrational rate of my personal energy, facilitating physical regeneration. It is through these self-healing journeys that I intentionally open and invite this flow of universal energy. Following these is a sample description of shamanic healing on behalf of another???

Sample Journey:

~ Awareness Journeys ~ Wisdom/Truth/Knowledge/Guidance

Often times we can't discern the causal factors for our challenges. Journeying for awareness gives us insight and guidance into the questions and problems we must decipher in our journey to wholeness.

~ Insight into cfids/fibromylagia Journey ~

This is an example of the wisdom and learning that Spirit may impart anytime that we quiet ourselves enough to attend to the messages that are invariably around and within. This journey occurred while running and while the journey itself wasn?t particularly eventful, the message teaches us important information about our behaviors and energy, how cfids and fibromyalgia form, and how energy healing works in its treatment.

Gliding down the wooded path strong in my body and open in my mind I considered the nature of this illness, the whys and wherefores. As part of my Psyche Inventory process I wanted a deeper understanding of the inner relationship between energy and illness. As my muscles expanded and contracted, and my breath flowed freely into action, the Spirits joined me. Often they run with me for companionship. Today it will be for knowledge. The following is the direct knowing that was spontaneously communicated. These are not my thoughts, for at the time, I did not understand the illness. Through this and other Spirit teachings I began to understand, and therefore heal.

Cfids and fibromyalgia are illnesses of energy, specifically of energy loss. The energy loss occurs through leaks in the energy field and the auric field of the body. They say the energy field of the body not only surrounds the body, but runs through it. Through a certain set of circumstances (and each cfids sufferer knows what these were and are for them) the energy, and hence the life force, begins to leak away. Sometimes we give it away to loved ones who need support or to enemies during conflict. We burn it away during periods of stress when we do not honor ourselves, or the needs of our souls and bodies. Usually there are circumstances building upon other circumstances that cause the energy to drain. As this energy or life force leeches away we are less able to protect ourselves from invaders such as bacteria, viruses, and allergens. As these foreign invaders find a home in our body, our body becomes ill. The main point of this energy lesson is that cfids and fibromyalgia begin as an illness of the energy field. A loss of energy on many levels (spiritual, emotional, mental, auric, cosmic, soul loss, higher self loss, physical) occurs and continues to the point that the body can no longer remain strong and healthy. The key is to re-ignite or vivify the energy that moves on all these levels, and hence, through the body, in order to achieve healing. Shamanic healing and journeying does this. When a person receives healing from a shaman, or through their own journey, they invite the energy back into their body. This energy changes the body at the very atomic and molecular level. Each time a person receives healing or journeys, the energy change becomes deeper and stronger. The person's energy vibrational rate actually increases, causing the stoppage of energy loss and leakage. By connecting with Spirit energy, we actually change our vibrational rate to be closer to theirs, which is much faster than the normal human vibrational rate of dense matter. The vibrational rate of an ill person is slower than that of a healthy person. Therefore increasing the vibrational rate through journeying facilitates healing. The more a person journeys or receives healings and connects with this energy source, the stronger their own energy becomes until they are fully healthy again and vibrating at a higher rate. The fact that this illness is happening to such a huge number of people is a wake-up call to all of us to learn about energy and how to use it positively. My Spirit Teachers went on to tell me that often women are affected most, because women have lost their innate connection to the cycles and sources of energy they once followed. Things like the Earth, the moon, and the plant and animal cycles that have been an integral part of our basic nature since the dawn of time. We are out of balance with nature and her rhythms and we have lost the ability to source energy in this way. Women are sensitive, and unknowingly feel the loss in their bodies of these older, primal rhythms, for in these rhythms are found the ways they have always connected to Spirit and healed in the past. In the struggle to be accepted in a male-dominated culture, many women have shed their intuitive strengths and are trying to be like men. This has done nothing but cause imbalance and illness. The time has come to re-don our intuitive cloaks, to rediscover and embrace the primal rhythms and intentionally raise our vibrational rates. Therein lies our personal evolution. Therein lies our healing. Therein lies our evolution as a species.

It was an important step in my recovery to learn this information about energy. For the first time, I began to see how my behavior of giving to everyone except myself left me burned out, empty and depleted. The more this continued the more drained I became until it was easy for invading viruses to make a home in my weakened body. Without much energy or power to fight them off, my immune system was further victimized until I began to re-ignite and re-energize my body through the techniques taught in chapter four. The healing energy of connecting regularly with my soul-self, Spirit Teachers, and the universal life force was powerful and tangible, but I did not understand how this worked until the Spirits showed me through this journey

Chapter Nine: Self-Discovery With The Psyche Inventory

"What is real?" asked the Rabbit one day?"Does it happen all at once, or bit by bit?" "It doesn?t happen all at once," said the Skin Horse. "You become. It takes a long time. That?s why it doesn?t often happen to people who break easily, or have sharp edges, or have to be carefully kept. Generally, by the time you are Real, most of your hair has been loved off, and your eyes drop out and you get loose in your joints and very shabby. But these things don?t matter at all, because once you are Real you can?t be ugly, except to people who don?t understand." ~ Margery Williams, from The Velveteen Rabbit

"View all problems as challenges. Look upon negativities that arise as opportunities to learn and to grow. Don?t run from them, condemn yourself, or bury your burden in saintly silence. You have a problem? Great. More grist for the mill. Rejoice, dive in, and investigate." ~ Bhante Henepola Gunaratana, "Mindfulness in Plain English"

Manifesting health and wellness is as much a journey of self-discovery as it is a healing of the physical body. In order to fully actualize physical healing you must first achieve balance and harmony in yourself. Unbeknownst to the busy "doing" part of your mind, you have a hidden reservoir of peace that lies deep within you, in your Soul-self, that when tapped and utilized brings you into balance and harmony. This explains why healing comes from the inside of you and not from an external "treatment". An external treatment facilitates your healing by connecting you with your own inner healing energy and wisdom, but you can also achieve this yourself by utilizing techniques that take you inside to your Soul-self. In order to access your Soul-self you need to become aware of your internal workings. You must understand your thoughts, feelings, and the motivations for your actions and behaviors.

The Psyche Inventory is a chisel you use to chip away your exterior, worldly fa?ade in order to access and analyze the inner workings of your mind. It is a tool used to delve into your thoughts and feelings to discover and reclaim the "authentic" you that lay underneath. It is a process that helps you discover who you are and why you are the way you are, a process for stripping away the layers and defining the true core nature of yourself. It is a process that is designed to help you identify and work through the past events and societal programming that unconsciously forms the basis of the beliefs and behaviors that are blocking your flow of life force energy. The Psyche Inventory is an effective tool for exploring your psyche to uncover hidden behaviors, patterns and experiences that may have manifested in your body in the form of physical illness. It is also the primary tool that you will use to reclaim soul-energy that you lost during your lifetime and that you continue to drain into unresolved issues in your past. Because many of our core issues are located in the subconscious mind where they are difficult to uncover, the Psyche Inventory process utilizes the conscious mind to probe into your subconscious mind to detect and bring these issues to the surface. Using a series of questions, you will guide your conscious mind deeper and deeper into self-understanding. You will ask yourself questions such as those listed in the next few paragraphs. As you work the process, you will also formulate more detailed questions that stimulate deeper exploration into your more specific, personal issues. When you ask yourself these questions consciously, it will most likely be your conscious mind that first answers. Write down in your journal whatever answers come to mind and then go deeper to engage your subconscious mind. Ask yourself the same question again, and this time allow your subconscious mind to answer via automatic writing. Automatic writing simply consists of writing down whatever thoughts and feelings come to mind, without concern for content, sentence structure, grammar or punctuation.

The questions you ask yourself and write about are designed to elicit self-analysis and soul-searching that digs down as deeply as you are willing to go. The questions involve both thinking and feeling. If any questions make you feel uncomfortable, don?t skip them. These could prove to be the most important ones for you to address. We will talk about these "hot-spots" a bit later in this chapter. For now, answer these questions to the best of your ability, acknowledging how you feel and writing these feelings beside your "thinking" answer. Come back to this question occasionally during the process to see if any new information or feelings have appeared and be sure to revisit this question in your observational review. Once you are able to identify and understand the roots of your thoughts, feelings, and programs, you can then begin to recognize and release your emotional reactions and attachments through the process of recapitulation and reclamation. This allows you to use the Psyche Inventory as a rescue mission, through which you can free the parts of yourself and the energies that may be caught in certain of your life events. Each time you free yourself from a layer of your emotional responses, it becomes easier to go back in again and look to identify the development of your agreements, beliefs, and behaviors. As you continue looking back, you can then effectively discern any recurring debilitating patterns, or behavioral programs, that may be inhibiting your energy flow or your ability to grow and heal. As you continue to strip away the layers using your cognitive mind, the true nature and inner wisdom of your soul-self begins to emerge. The more you reveal, release, and reclaim, the more energy your soul-self has to flourish. When there is a consistent flow of freed up energy, your soul, mind, emotions, and body function in the state of balance and harmony known as health.

The Psyche Inventory contains two parts, the Initial Psyche Inventory and the Ongoing Psyche Inventory process. The Initial Psyche Inventory is designed to help you explore the occurrences and past events that have shaped your beliefs, personality and choices. It is a tool that can be used as self-psychotherapy to release the grip of the past. It is effective for unveiling and releasing unresolved feelings from past experiences that linger in the back of your mind and, consciously or unconsciously, shape your behaviors and decisions today.

The Ongoing Psyche Inventory process is designed to help you explore the thoughts and feelings that arise while you are busy trying to live your everyday life. It is effective for delving into pesky thoughts and feelings that may plague you such as emotional restlessness, circular thoughts, fear, anger, anxiety, or depression. Every illness has a huge emotional component that may be the cause and/or the effect of the illness. Resolution of these emotions facilitates the balance and harmony that creates health.

I invite you now to enter into a personal space of openness, honesty, and receptivity. The prize that you will find in this journey is your soul-self, the true, rich, unclouded essence of your life force.

Healing Insights

The following letter from a workshop student clearly illustrates the dynamic healing powers of The Psyche Inventory and journeying. Once this student recognized and changed her behavioral programs regarding her work and self worth, she was able to move beyond them and free herself. The energy she liberated in the process, as well as the energy she was able to retain by not bleeding it out into her unfavorable circumstances, she was able to redirect towards her personal awareness and development. This is a common scenario among my students who are willing to apply these methods and honor the outcome.

She writes:

"In a society focused and inundated with "self-help" books, workshops, seminars - it is really difficult for an individual to choose the right path. I was fortunate. I listened to my heart, and it has proven to be one of the most enriching experiences in my life.

I felt trapped in a job I hated. It was my 12'th year and the inertia was tremendous. In many respects the process of transformation began last July and culminated in my actually being laid off from my job because of budget cuts. My healing began when I attended a Psyche Inventory workshop. I've learned to suspend disbelief - to examine my routine thoughts that cycle through my mind, and try to understand the belief system that was resulting in the life I was currently living.

I was shocked by the outcome of the process. The Psyche Inventory produced results that were the last thing I expected. The process of delving continually deeper into my feelings resulted in me acknowledging my tremendous fear of failure, and self-hate. Why else would someone stay in a job that was sucking all life energy from them? I thought this was what I deserved.

Yes, the routine was a known quantity and the job did not demand my complete intellectual and creative energies, which I certainly focused on other parts of my life. In fact, most other aspects of my life were going well. But staying in the job was like putting half of my life on hold. The loss of my job has proven to be a blessing and I have not regretted walking out that door. I also realized that the worse thing that could happen to me concerning that job has happened, and I feel liberated. So, what do I do differently now? I take the time to quiet my mind and stop the thoughts from taking control. I know that the right direction is there inside me.

The journeying helps to quiet my mind and to not try so hard to control. I've learned to allow the gift of journeying and "spirits" to guide me on my path. I look at situations with acceptance and judge less harshly. I was motivated by self-growth, and realized that this is just the beginning of a lifetime of discovery."

Chapter Ten: Healing More than Your Body ~ Living in Harmony and Balance

"When our body, mind, emotions, and spirit are in harmony and balance, perfect health is the natural result."

We must be the change we want to see. ~ Mohandas Gandhi

Healing is a journey and a way of life that no single method or cure determines in one application. The techniques that I have described in this book are powerful methods for self-healing. Applying these methods on a regular basis is incredibly healing, but that is only part of the equation. Living life with integrity is the other. Living with integrity means honoring yourself and taking care of your whole self. Many great sages, including Carlos Castenada and Don Miguel Ruiz, teach the importance of impeccability. They aren't telling us that we have to be the model citizens of our communities. They are teaching us to be impeccable with ourselves. To be impeccable is to be without error or flaw, and to be integral is to be complete and whole. Therefore, in order to be impeccable and integral you need to know and honor yourself. You need to be awake and aware, genuine and real with yourself. You do this by seeking to know your inner truth and nature, connect and stay connected with yourself, and follow your inner guidance and your life path. Maintain a constant quest to know the whole you and then honor your self by living in harmony and balance. Do and think what is true and natural for you. Act from your individual personal nature and your inner truth. Be your real self and do what you like, not something someone else thinks you should be or do. Be strong, be wise, be bright and shiny if that is your nature. When we are or do something that is not true to our natural self, we lose energy, personal power, and vitality. This does not give you license to be derelict, it gives you license to take care of yourself. To honor yourself by paying attention to your emotions, your body sensations, your needs, your desires, your joys and your pains.

An example of this point is the story of my re-connection with my cousin Bryan. Due to my Grandfather?s passing in the autumn, I had the opportunity to become reacquainted with family that I had not seen in a long time. We have not been estranged, we have just been too caught up in the daily grind to get together. During the viewing at the local funeral home, I spied my cousin Bryan across the room. He was sharply dressed in a sport jacket and dress pants, but what caught my eye was his long, wavy blonde ponytail. When the opportunity arose, I approached him and along with our hellos I tugged his ponytail and told him I liked it. A beaming smile came across his face and it was clear he was pleased with my compliment. I imagine there are not many in our conservative family who appreciate his individualistic self-expression of long hair.

The next day after our Grandpa?s funeral, Bryan shared with me the joy and freedom he finds in riding his Harley Davidson motorcycle, and he offered to take me for a ride on Thanksgiving. I accepted. Two days later, after our newly established annual family Thanksgiving meal, beaming with enthusiasm, Bryan handed me a pile of leather clothes and asked if I was ready to go. As I donned the warm leather jacket and gloves and headed toward the stairs, a chorus of cautions and judgments followed us. Once outside I inspected the shining chrome and turquoise Harley that is Bryan?s stress release from his work and parenting responsibilities. I remarked on the beauty of his mint condition bike and strapped on the helmet he brought for me to wear. Settling onto the soft leather seat and wrapping my arms around Bryan's waist, I made a comment about the judgmental warnings of others. Bryan said, people often ask him if he is afraid of dying or getting hurt on his big bike. He turned around, looked me in the eyes with heartfelt sincerity and said, "You know, it's not dying I'm afraid of, it's not fully living that scares me". Knowing I concurred, he turned back around, revved the engine and the bike pulled away from the curb. With the cool wind whistling in my ears, I snuggled in behind Bryan and let his message sink into my soul. You know, it?s not dying that we should be afraid of, it?s not fully living. Bryan fully lives, and he lives from his nature and his inner truth. This experience remains an inspiration to get me back on track when I forget to live with integrity and impeccability.

We have the choice to live fully or not. For most people, this choice is made unconsciously everyday. We either do things that help us be healthy, harmonious and balanced or we do things that disturb or block our health, harmony and balance. To live with integrity we must employ conscious choice. We must understand that healing doesn?t just happen on its own simply because we desire to get better. We have to make it happen. It is the ongoing, consistent application of connection, awareness, and wisdom that creates a state of harmony and balance in which healing can then be actualized. We have to make the conscious choice to intentionally utilize the techniques that work for us in order to make this happen. Choosing to pursue and achieve harmony and balance is the first step. We do this by making the conscious choice to make ourselves and our personal health a high priority. We can choose to take care of ourselves, to connect with our soul-self and apply healing techniques, or we can choose to remain ill through inaction. The decision is ultimately up to each individual on the journey to wholeness.

Healing Insights

Judy is like most of us who suffer with chronic illness. She is a giving loving person who is always willing to help others to the extreme of ignoring herself and her own needs. For years she has been a nurse, a massage therapist, a dedicated parent, spouse, daughter, sister, and volunteer. When the first symptoms began to appear Judy simply "sucked it up", ignored the pain and kept on giving to others. She attended the Power Tools For Personal Growth and Self-Healing training to learn how to better help others heal. Unexpectedly, she learned that she needed to do the same.

She writes:

"One of the things I loved about your program was that you gave me permission to love myself and therefore to take care of myself. I have needed this for a long time and have now been able to give myself the time and the nurturance that I need. I look in the mirror and adore the person I see there instead of criticize her. I take warm baths often now, and enjoy leisurely long walks in the woods. Instead of my family complaining about where I am, like I thought they would, they tell me I am so much nicer now. Imagine that!! Thanks for teaching me that it is not only okay, but necessary for me to give to myself. I am feeling much better physically too! Judy"

Chapter Eleven: Living Enlightenment

The whole point of spiritual work is to begin to understand that we are not what we appear to be. As we understand this more and more, we begin to find within ourselves a real and deep connection to the source of all Life. ~ Swami Chetanananda from Dynamic Stillness

"Enlightenment is the effect of the journey, not the destination."

Life perspective can change drastically when you are on journey of healing. Subtle, and yet profound, transformations have probably occurred while you have been reading his book and practicing these self-healing techniques. And these will continue to occur as your practice continues. In some ways, you are the same as you have always been, but in many ways you are totally different. You may have begun to think differently. Behave differently. See things differently. Feel differently. Live more mindfully in the present moment. Find a balance of both joy and pain in living. Look for the deeper meanings in life. Pay attention to your body and acknowledge and understand the messages expressed by your body and the Spirits in everyday life occurrences. You may feel more connected to the Web of Life in deeply spiritual and energetic ways. You may be more aware and able to notice the gifts that nature gives you in special moments, like the sparkles of prisms in the snow and the reflection of the moon on the water, and be able to sit and watch these things for a long time. You may find that you are able to deeply "Feel" these treasures and "Be" with them. These occurrences and feelings that you are experiencing are the gifts of self-actualization and enlightenment. These become a natural part of living and are the reward given to you by yourself and the Spirits when you chose to detensify and re-connect with the divine healing powers of your soul-self and the universe through self-healing.

The suffering that you are endeavoring to eliminate will most likely turn out to be the catalyst that points you toward a path of enlightenment, re-awakening your soul and your passion for life. In your desperate attempts to heal your ravaged body, you have been practicing techniques that have also re-connected you to your soul-self and to the divine. This re- connecting facilitates both an internal and external awareness that you may not have expected or ever experienced before. Through this series of self-healing experiences, perhaps many of the fortifications of your defenses and illusions were broken down and you have begun to experience change on a quantum level. The experiences, techniques, and learnings that are facilitating this new awareness will continually grow throughout your practice, building upon one another. Already you may have felt yourself become more open and receptive, and by re-connecting with your soul-self and the divine on a daily basis, you gradually have become even more awake and aware. As you have allowed yourself to become more aware, deep inner personal and universal truths, knowledge, and wisdom have bubbled forth into your consciousness from your self-healing sessions. Unknowingly you began to pursue a path of personal growth and awakening, a path toward enlightenment and wholeness. Now that you are becoming more consciously aware of this path, by intentionally applying the techniques of connecting and awareness and utilizing the truths and knowledge you have gained from these experiences, you can gain deeper understanding of your total self, thus activating healing on all levels. As this develops, I am sure that you are realizing that there is far more to health and wellness than physical healing, and that the cure or the recovery is simply a positive by-product of the journey. The conscious application of your illumination is the fruit that brings your life into balance. One of my teachers, Sandra Ingerman, once said it best, "It?s not what you do, but who you become".

So, what is enlightenment? Webster's says enlightenment is the act or means of enlightening and is a philosophic movement with a tendency toward individualism with an emphasis on human progress. Webster?s says enlightenment in Buddhism is the final blessed state marked by the absence of desire or suffering. Enlighten is to illuminate, to furnish knowledge to, instruct, to give spiritual insight to. Enlightened is free from ignorance and misinformation, based on full comprehension of the problems involved.

The enlightenment that myself, clients, students, and you are experiencing is not the final blessed state of enlightenment that is described in Buddhism and many spiritual traditions nor is it the state of being removed from desire and suffering. The enlightenment that I am referring to is that of being on a path of spiritual insight, illumination, and knowledge by working hard to be free from ignorance and illusions. Enlightenment is not achieving or obtaining certain levels or status. It is constant awareness and understanding, growing and learning. It is not a "do-ing", it is a "be-ing". It is becoming quiet enough inside to notice the inner workings of the self and the world. It is becoming insightful, and developing a reverence for all life. It is becoming less consumed with the trauma and drama of one?s personal struggles and trusting the natural flow of life.

Healing Insights

Claudia came to the Power Tools for Personal Growth and Self-Healing workshop in 1999 to learn how to help herself heal from a spinal injury that she had sustained in a car accident 6 months prior. Claudia's letter describes an overall life change of increased awareness and enlightenment.

She writes:

"Dear Colleen,

I attended your self-healing training several years ago to heal from a physical injury. Most of the self-healing techniques that you taught me, particularly the energy movement exercises, were a totally new concept to me. I had never heard or thought about energy before and so I was a bit skeptical. But I wanted to heal and get my life back so I began using the energy movement techniques periodically throughout the day plus visualization, self-hypnosis, meditation or journeying at least once per day, everyday, sometimes twice a day.

One of the most surprising things that happened to me by using the Power Tools techniques was how I became so much more alive, awake, and aware. I began to notice the world around me and live fully in the moment with an open mind and an open heart. I saw the light (I mean I could really see a light inside their heart or solar plexus) in each person I met instead of judging their dysfunctions. I had never before been such an open and compassion person. I thought this rather odd but I really liked the person that I was becoming. I began to innately understand the interconnectedness of what you called the great web of life, and to relish the precious moments of beauty that nature gave to me most every day. Wow, what a change for me!

I had forgotten that you had mentioned openness and awareness and enlightenment in your training because I didn?t know what any of that was nor did I think that would happen to me. I went back and re-read your workshop notebook and was delighted to read your words "enlightenment is the effect of the journey, not the destination". I now understand. Enlightenment began to happen to me when I opened myself to the healing techniques and then to the world around me. Harmony and balance began to happen when I did this and then healing happened as I opened myself even more.

Thank you so much, Colleen. I am much stronger and healthier now than I have ever been. Physically, I have achieved almost full recovery while mentally, emotionally and spiritually I am more awake and alive than ever! I am surprised and thrilled so I wanted you to know. Sincerely, Claudia"

Chapter Twelve: Living Health

Any successful gardener will tell you that the most important plant in the garden is the attention planted by the gardener. One can plant the seeds and sprouts of beautiful flowers, but the key factor that determines the growth of the plant and the size and the vibrancy of the bloom is the faithful tender loving care bestowed by the gardener.

Similarly the success that I continue to experience with my recovery depends on the faithful attention that I give to the inner healing garden in me. I have planted the seeds and sprouts of healing into my body, mind, emotions and soul with powerful healing techniques and now I diligently water and fertilize them on a regular basis, discovering new growth and blooming beyond my wildest dreams. Likewise, if I were to fail to plant, water and fertilize the healing garden within me, I would be back where I was, continuing to struggle to survive on minimal sustenance, dry conditions and lack of attention. This is the difference between surviving and thriving.

The Power Tools for Self-Healing way of living does not have to be a difficult nor time consuming change, but it does require a change. The required change is a change of focus. Plain and simple. What I put in my inner garden matters. By changing what I plant, how often and with what I water and fertilize my body, mind, emotions, and soul, I continue to change my ailing inner garden into one of vibrant blooms and vitality. I am conscious about how good I feel, and what I am like, when I put as much positive thought and healing energy into my inner garden as I used to put worried thoughts and the negative energy of stress and tension. This added to the energetic drain of the "doing too much overload" left my garden with very little positive energy to live on. I made myself find the power to change all that. Each day to this day, some four years plus post illness, when I wake up I decide if this day I will feed my inner healing garden, or if I will be too focused on something else to give myself the energy that I need to thrive. It is my choice, every day. In the beginning of this journey I made the commitment to myself to make myself and my health an important priority. Each day I must re-commit to my health with focus and action. By practicing The Power Tools for Self-Healing techniques daily at a pre-set time and periodically throughout the day I insure that my body, mind, emotions, and soul receive the planting and the attention that gives me the energy to bloom. This is neither difficult nor time consuming when I integrate the techniques into my everyday life. Perhaps the following description of an ordinary day in my life will give you some tips and ideas about ways that you can easily integrate self-healing into your everyday life.