I never imagined that my journey of becoming a more conscious and whole person could become so enriched by my experience of living with AS. In fact I rarely experience any pain these days and when I do, I welcome it as another opportunity for my inner practice of sensing the energy, its temporary stuckness, practising to feel into it and gently liberate its flow.
Instead of reacting to and fighting against symptoms and pain which increases suffering and builds more pressure I am learning what happens when instead I become more curious and accepting of the energy that for whatever reason needs to move through me at any particular moment in time.
What I noticed is that instead of wanting to get rid of it, I become more available for something that moves through me and maybe is outside of my rational understanding. Accepting that something that is not separated from me is trying to get my attention and benefits from being included and processed with awareness and love, opens up new channels that connect me to more of myself and life itself.
I noticed in myself and in people I work with, how feelings of fear, anger, shame and guilt create an inner separation and resistance. This requires a lot of energy and inner resources which can be depleting. On the other hand, feelings of appreciation, acceptance, relatedness, curiosity and compassion for whatever is happening, creates an inner opening and leads to new connections and new pathways. It enables us humans to feel part of something much larger than our small limited selves.
In the context of my work with people suffering from emotional and mental health problems this awareness also helps me to remain grounded in myself, aligned with how other people are feeling but not getting taken over by their energies. It allows me to let their energy moves through me, remain sensitive but not become absorbed by it.
When the symptom isn’t the enemy I need to fight and resist but the messenger, I ask myself what is it that I need to learn as part of the healing process? Instead of shooting the messenger, how can I take the pain and trauma and make it into something positive?
This also informs my larger questions: How can we transmute lower energy into higher energy? What is this other side that is present there and gives me more and better options to act?
Awareness of the interconnections that are operating at every moment in and between living organisms helps to dissolve our sense of separateness.
Each one of us, no matter what we do, whether we cause more separation or create more conscious inter-connectedness, we are doing the work of the whole as an integral part of our ecosystem.
Without having healthy ecosystems we cant be healthy and we cant have healthy eco-systems without having healthy humans. This awareness calls for exercising a greater response-ability than other beings like plants and animals. Response-ability in turn translates into having more of a choice of how we interact with the life energy as it moves through us. We can either act as conscious humans acknowledging the sacredness of life and align our behavior or ignore and deny our interconnections, live as if we were separate and create suffering and pain.
Once we understand that suffering is part of the greater healing process that can take us out of our separate self-awareness, what is the wise action we can take? What is sustainable holistic living? How is the human organism meant to live on this planet in a more harmonious way?
What I personally can do in my life and work is help others to become aware of and learn to feel the power of plants which includes vegetables and medicinal plants. Feeling the power of plants and nature of which we are an integral part will put us naturally closer in connection with the planet.
Although medical science based on rational thinking has dominated the practice of medicine and healing in the modern world for the last 100 years, the good news is that even medical practice itself is evolving. Since linear thinking on which the biomedical model is based no longer provides us with sufficient understanding and knowledge about modern diseases and their treatments, appreciation of more holistic ways of healing are starting to become more widely accepted. This primary care practice were I facilitate workshops for patients is a good example.
Certainly the research into the prevention of dementia demonstrates that a holistic understanding of both disease development and treatment, of lifestyle factors, diet and environmental factors, is necessary and it is gaining momentum. Even research is starting to acknowledge this interconnectedness as the Apple Tree programme for the active prevention in people at risk of dementia through lifestyle, behaviour change and technology is trying to show.
When I observe what’s happening on the scale of our planet at the moment I cant help noticing a surge of sudden awakening to our interconnectedness everywhere from the renewed interest in the Commons, the Climate Change movement calling for System Change, managers in the NHS enabling collaborative learning and individuals expressing their creativity and showing up as whole beings at work. .At the same time there is also a surge of fear, violence and separation in the world with the revival of nationalism of which Brexit is just one example.
Ecological Intelligence means developing new sensitivities to the interrelatedness of phenomena including unfamiliar ones beyond what our nervous system has learned to pick up and learning what to do about it.
As more and more people try to understand what on Earth is really happening it makes it easier for more of us to open up and align our intentions with this emerging consciousness of interconnectedness.
If you feel called to discover, develop and refine your perceptions of interrelatedness, do get in touch.