I started this project about three months ago and because I have asked the participants to write the story of their experience thus far, I have decided to do the same. Prior to beginning, I wanted to know if energy work could have an impact on mental illness. Deep down I felt of course it could, but deep down I also felt there was no such thing as mental illness. It doesn't mean I don't recognize that many people are not able to live the greatest versions of their lives due to the way that they perceive and act in the world, but the word "illness" always felt inaccurate. I have been very close to people who had the diagnoses of bi-polar, paranoid schizophrenic, manic depressive, and severely depressed and although I didn't always enjoyed their behavior, I could see the heart behind it all. I have never understood that even though they saw a therapist every week and took medication they never seemed to get better. Each episode was worse than the previous one and when they were on their meds or somewhat stable, they were either zombie like or functioning with a cookie cutter like personality. Their authenticity seemed to be missing. Sometimes I wondered if what I felt was their authenticity, was actually their "illness". I began to wonder who is this person really? Do they know who they are?
My work over the past 3 months has begun to answer those questions. At the heart of the work, I realized that with each person, they never took the time to define the way they wanted to function in life. It was never presented to them as a choice that they confidently and securely could make for themselves. I feel this is the case for most people. The traumas, joys, and parenting we experience in our childhood shapes our adulthood with very little of our input. Our lives become surrendered over to the past that we then try to survive moment by moment, year by year. Personal power is no where to be found. I can then see how it is easy to be afraid of everything. It is very easy to be afraid of everything when you aren't taught that particular everything you are experiencing is really an extension of you. In my sessions, I have found myself holding the space for that unfolding of awareness.
Before I became a Holistic Energy Practitioner, I learned about myself through making a commitment to love myself. I learned that self-love isn't about being a great person or even having a great self-esteem. It isn't done so that one may acquire a life partner, be a better family member, or a humanitarian. It is about accepting yourself fully so that you may know who you are. Self-love is about self-realization. It means that as those not-so-cute aspects of who you are surface, you are able to stand and face them instead of running and hiding. It means you experience the wholeness of who you are. You don't look for a savior outside of you because with the love you have cultivated within yourself, you find there is a place and function for all of you. Love becomes the fuel for your growing inner intelligence. The guides, angels, and creatures that show up now are a part of you. The voices you heard are now you speaking to yourself. The visions you see are a glimpse to an aspect of who you are. Loving yourself is a daring act because self- love is both destructive and creative. Love burns, floods, purifies, nourishes, and balances. Love creates a shift. That shift is what I see happening now within this group.
During our sessions, I have taken to letting the energy build up during the sessions and then guiding everyone through a process of integration at the end. I really enjoy this method because I get pretty excited to see what has developed. It is like aspects of them are revealing themselves in technicolor and I am the one to describe all that I see. It's fun. I work with energy altogether differently than I did before. It's more subtle, yet upfront and far more feminine. I find myself dancing, swirling, and being in a greater harmony with the process. Since I shifted my approach, they have given me great feedback and confirmation that magic is indeed happening.
The past three months haven't been daisies and roses for everyone. They have had their regular life challenges and a few sunflowers got trampled on. So much change has happened for everyone, but I can tell they are moving through these changes differently than they were before. There is less anxiety, less emotional suppression, and more awareness. Everyone has put in the work and it shows. I was talking to The Whiz and I realized that in all of our sessions that the phrase, "mental illness" hasn't come up. Somehow the term has become near irrelevant. I feel this is because of the absence of judgement and my desire to understand more than label and categorize. And I have dug deep in my quest to understand and ultimately know. I find that I'm not afraid to cut to the chase as I see my blunt honesty become even more magnified in these sessions. I guess otherwise, I feel like we would all be wasting our time.
Each week there are awakenings and epiphanies for everyone. I am growing exponentially through this experience as well. I couldn't be more grateful for this opportunity and I am excited to see what the end result will be. Right now feels like that moment in the Wizard of OZ where Dorothy and the crew get all primped and pretty. We made it to Emerald city and the exploration continues.