The Bangkok Post featured a two-page story about our centre last weekend. In the interview with me, the first question I was asked was, “What’s it like to work with VIPs and stars?” I was rather disappointed as I was hoping that the writer would want to know more about the therapeutic process for our clients. Although I managed to bridge the question to some of what I’d wanted to convey, I was left feeling that I would have liked to be able to share more of what the internal processes entail in the road to recovery and self-growth.
Archive for category: Healing and Transformation
A few months ago during clinical supervision, I brought up some personal issues for discussion with my therapist. He pointed out that I had been coming from scarcity rather than abundance. Since then, I’ve been working on focusing more on the gifts in situations that appear to be negative. Through the process, I discovered how easy it is to let myself slip and get caught up in negativity.
That’s why a consistent practice of nurturing our mental-emotional wellbeing is so vital in managing stress levels and ensuring that we maintain a good presence of mind to deal with the normal stresses of life. The danger of over-exerting ourselves is that we can convince ourselves we can handle more than we’re capable of. Excesses in lifestyle such as over-consumption of ‘good food’, substance abuse, over-working, over-sleeping or any self-harming activities can go on for years before we realise the toil it has taken on us. By then, we’re likely to have set into a very negative mindset, because such excesses tend to sap us of any energy left to nurture ourselves properly.
In my previous post, I wrote about the meanings we assign to things we see around us and how that can determine our state of being. This morning, I made an association to something I saw and a healing was brought into my awareness. A cold morning and I was working out in the gym when I saw this:
This is one of the stumps of a big tamarind tree that was cut down about six months ago because its leaves, which were falling in copious amounts, were staining the pool water, making it very difficult to maintain clear water in the pool. I was sad when the news was announced as I had spent days meditating by the tree and had felt connected to it. When the tree choppers were sawing off the tree, I had sympathised with the tree to the point where I almost felt as if my body was being sawn into half. I remember hearing the sound of chainsaw and feeling a pain twisting into my torso.
In my work to help people get off drugs and alcohol, I keep hearing “boredom” cited as a reason for substance abuse. A lot of self-destructive behaviours are motivated by boredom – when life seems meaningless and no longer interesting, we seek out ways to inject more fun, danger, madness into our lives.
Why do our lives become so boring? The question we need to ask first is, why do we become bored with life?
Human beings by nature seek stimulation, because we seek to grow. Without stimulation, there can be no growth. Stimulation implies movement, and growth is a movement. Our deepest core is made up of a vibrant and creative energy that is alive all the time. This is the core of who we really are. Stagnation of any kind dampens our spirit and kills the passion in us. We feel bored so we seek new experiences and in the process we enrich our lives and grow through the experiences.
Every now and then, I am reminded of the richness and depth that is found in the human spirit. In the materialistic world in which we live, we tend to relate to one another on a superficial level, and the human spirit is often concealed from our perception. Since the materialistic world thrives on power struggles, our motivation has been lowered to “how do I get more?”. In our drive to rise above others as the biggest, strongest, richest, best, we dampen the spirits of those with whom we interact.
I have just come to an end of a relationship and it’s been a test of my own connectivity to come out of it healed. I’m reminded of how stresses can trigger old, destructive tendencies and in times of great stress it’s imperative that we watch ourselves vigilantly so that we don’t slide back to a well-trodden but useless path.
Time seems to slow down when we’re in deep emotional pain. Not in a pleasant way, but in a way that seems to just drag on and prolong our pain. I’m reminding myself that this is a good thing – there are simply too many easily-available ways for us to numb our pain, and the temptation to bury pain is the evil which all addictive persons must fight. Pain can only be healed if pain was present in our awareness.
I am currently revising the Body Renew manual. In the Introduction, I’d started by saying, “Most people seek to come to a place of inner peace, no matter what forms their struggles present themselves in their lives.” I wrote that three years ago, and today I still find that to be true.
Since the time I first wrote the manual, I have battled more life challenges and grown, seeing and learning more about life in the process. Yet I still maintain that most people, if you boil down their desires, are seeking to find peace within themselves.
In my previous posting, I stated that change is an ongoing process. The acceptance that life is meant to be a voyage of discovering more authentic parts of ourselves, rather than a pursuit of a state of perfection we expect to achieve overnight, will make us much happier. As long as we remain present in life, we would be able to take on the signs that are shown to us to keep us moving forward in our growth. The quickest way to accelerate our growth is to observe how we respond from our ego and then make more empowered choices from a higher perspective.
I sent two clients who had completed our four-week programme to the airport yesterday. As I said goodbye to them, I felt a surge of emotions well up inside me. I walked away from the departure hall blinking back tears, overcome by a poignancy that moved me on a deep level. When you’ve had four weeks of caring and watching the personal battles of a client who’d been residential with you, you can’t help but feel a little sad when they leave. But it was sadness tinged with an admiration for their courage in pushing through some issues that are quite painful to deal with and coming out more whole that moved me.
It’s interesting how messages get received, grasped and absorbed over countless times, each time reaching a deeper level of our awareness. A bit like reading the same book or watching the same movie again – we see something different the second time around. A sentence or a scene may open a new door by provoking a thought, evoking an emotion or triggering a memory. All these stimulus may take us to a new realisation, a fresh insight which changes the way we perceive ourselves or our world.