Healing: A Return to Wholeness
In all my creative work – be it a musical composition, a text, a painting, a performance, or a video production – I start with an inspiration. That feeling leads to an idea which fuels my artistic process. I have a plan or a sense of what I want to create and do my best to honour the muse and see the vision to completion. But in the course of executing the idea, I encounter the unexpected and end up with an artistic work that usually ends up better than I had originally imagined. This is because I don’t see unexpected challenges as obstacles, but rather as opportunities. I am also not attached to my initial idea of how I think things should be. Does the seed know how it will look when it flowers? Life is a mystery unfolding.
As a yogi and meditator, and as one who has gone through an extraordinary healing process after being paralyzed for four months due to a severe spinal injury, I feel a strong affinity for the phrase “I’ve got your back”.
The exercises that make up the practice of Hatha yoga were designed thousands of years ago to gradually purify the subtle channels of energy that exist within our body/being. The spine is our central channel of energy from which all other physical, emotional and intellectual circuitry stems. The brain stem connects the brain with the spinal cord, and the cerebral spinal fluid circulates around the brain and the spinal cord. As such, we can begin to conceive our spine, brain and bodily circuitry as part of one continuous and intelligent whole.
Think of the brain and the spine as the processing headquarters for your nervous system. When spinal issues occur, you are called to go within for healing in a unique way. We are asked in this human experience to move beyond the idea that our body is made up of merely tissue and bone, and open to the subtler and less visible realms such as electricity and energy.
The Western medical world tends to perceive healing as a process of fixing. This type of thinking often bleeds into holistic modalities, in which practitioners and clients may use more poetic words such as “clearing” in reference to an issue, when they really intend to “get rid of” or “fix”. There is a tendency for all of us to want to throw out the things we don’t like and don’t want. Yet within that knee-jerk reaction, we miss an opportunity for true healing.
Healing is not about fixing or getting rid of anything. Healing occurs when we are willing to return to wholeness. Injury, illness, upset and stress are some of the varied expressions of being disconnected – to some degree or another – from the unified whole.
When you feel fully connected with the whole, you only know your inherent worth and the loving support you have from the universe. You know beyond question that the universe is there for you, that it has your back. In this state, stress and upset do not arise as options because they would make no sense. To do so would be going against the very fabric of your being, as an integral part of the universe.
In truth, we are never disconnected from anything. We are always contained within and a part of the whole. Yet because we are attached to our i-deas, i-dentities, personas, thoughts and perceptions, we think we are separate. Feeling cut off in some way, we automatically strive to achieve, to get and to become. Like a mouse on a running wheel, around and around we go, until one day something happens, such as “my back just gave out!”.
Anything that upsets our daily routine could be perceived as a bother or even as a catastrophe. Yet I have come to understand that unexpected occurrences, no matter how severe they may be, are not a break in intended plans, but an opportunity for a breakthrough so that we may move closer to lasting wholeness.
The self-help world is full of books, DVDs and gurus promoting the latest way to follow your dreams and get what you want. But too often these seemingly helpful tips don’t create the lasting change you hope for, as they can subtly encourage the development of being more i-dentified with your ego. You may move from feeling lack to having, but all the while you may still be attached to the temporal idea of you being the doer who is in control of it all – an idea that can only be sustained until the next upset comes along.
If you want lasting happiness and true healing, it is best to welcome the unexpected shifts in your plans as grace. They are God knocking at your door and sending you a message: come home. They are the way that nature and the universe speak to you. Stop what you are doing, let go of your i-deas of what life should be, and listen. They call you to return to wholeness. They ask you to let go of feeling a need to fight for your happiness, your health, your wealth and your life. They invite you to step off the running wheel and away from identifying as a mouse, and become a lion.
The only fight that ever really goes on is the one within your own head. You perceive yourself to be disconnected, so you fight to find connection. In the eye of the storm of dissonance with the whole, you do not see the suffering you create. When you are feeling upset, the only healing that you need to do is that of forgiving yourself for not seeing that you are part of it all. You do not need to feel thwarted or disturbed by any unexpected news or upset, because the universe has got your back. Not only is your body and entire being part of the very fabric of life, but so is the interruption. It is an opportunity to refine your understanding of wholeness. It offers you to reconnect to who you are and rest in the extraordinary abundance called life.
Now close your eyes, take several deep breaths, and let yourself feel part of it all. Repeat until you feel it resonate in your cells:
“The Universe has my back.”