Working on ourselves is one of the most beneficial things that we can do if we are wanting to create a life of ease and joy.

But what happens when self-improvement becomes the sole focus of our attention? It lands us in a negative cycle of constantly being stuck in healing mode. 

Signs that you may be in stuck in healing mode are you:

  • feel like something at your core is wrong with you 
  • feel like something needs to always be fixed
  • have been to countless practitioners and the same symptoms or problems are still present 
  • feel stuck and can’t seem to move forward 
  • have experienced a healing crisis 

“Be patient toward all that is unresolved in your heart.”

Rainer Maria Rilke

You may be thinking that this seems counter-intuitive. Isn’t keeping ourselves in optimal health in mind, body and spirit and seeing practitioners beneficial for our wellbeing? Whilst that is absolutely the correct path to follow, imbalances can arise when you:

  • are seeing numerous practitioners that are working on a similar problem. Eg you are seeing an osteopath, a chiropractor and a massage therapist for a bad back, and your sessions are within close proximity in time to each other
  • are seeing a variety of practitioners in a short time frame. Eg in one week you have a healing and a kinesiology appointment 
  • have developed a mindset of feeling “less than” or “that something is wrong with you” which leaves you feeling disempowered 
  • have had many different treatments with no result. You keep dreaming that one day things will change

If you can recognise any of these imbalances, then you may be caught in a healing cycle. To extract yourself from this self-improvement healing cycle and move forward you could:

  • Learn to tap into your own GPS guidance system. What does your body actually want and need?
  • Drop the belief of when you’re healed that your life will change for the better
  • Space out your treatments. Multiple treatments in one week don’t allow the body to absorb and integrate each treatment
  • When we rush through the journey, we don’t realise the small gifts, awareness or changes that come along the way. Treat, integrate then allow transformation to happen 
  • Perhaps it’s time for a change. Look at a different modality if you feel like you’re banging your head against the wall with little or no results 
  • Ask yourself ‘What is currently holding me back in my development’?

Above all, remember that you are enough and you always will be. 

self compassion

Emotional resistance – an extract from the book Self Compassion by Kristin Neff. 

One kind word can change someone’s entire day.

Anonymous

One kind word can change your day. Many kind words can provide the emotional resistance that can set you free. Kristin Neff speaks to your heart through each chapter of the book “Self Compassion”, creating a tool kit for many of the life challenges we face today. Kristin believes self compassion has the power to radically transform lives! It doesn’t eradicate the pain, but if you embrace the pain it allows you to transform on your own. Through self compassion we discover the wisdom of true acceptance of what is. 

Research shows the people who are more self compassionate 

  • are significantly less anxious 
  • are significantly less likely to develop depression 
  • have more perspective on their problems and are less likely to feel isolated by them
  • are more willing to experience unwanted emotions and have better emotional skills 
  • acknowledge their emotions are valid and important but do not become consumed by them
  • have lower cortisol levels 

 “Love your suffering. Do not resist it, do not flee from it. It is only your aversion to it that hurts, nothing else.”

Hermann Hesse

Our happiness is not dependant on experiences or what we expect them to be. Happiness stems from loving ourselves and our lives exactly as they are. Knowing that joy and pain, strength and weakness, glory and failure are essential to the full experience of life. When we feel flawed and incapable of handling the things that life throws us, we shut down emotionally and magnetise to fear and can only see the doom and gloom and things go down from there. 

To free yourself from the negativity:

  • Give yourself self compassion. This towers over negative emotions 
  • When you don’t judge your feelings and really pay attention to them and see that they are thoughts and emotions – not necessarily reality – you can deal with whatever comes your way 
  • Be aware of emotions in the body, where they present in the physical will allow you to stay in tune with them. By staying anchored, grounded, and present you can be here and now and watch the storm pass over — see what arises in the present moment but not get caught up in it 
  • Affirm – ‘Every day in every way I am getting better and better”
  • When you notice something you don’t like about yourself, when something goes wrong and you’re in distress, silently repeat the following “This is a moment of suffering. Suffering is part of life, may I be kind to myself this moment, may I give myself the compassion I need”. 
  • Paul Gilbert author of The Compassionate Mind has a program that helps people with severe shame and self-judgement to understand the harm they do to themselves 

Use the soften, soothe, allow method 

  • SOFTEN Compassion stops the mental recrimination
  • SOOTHE “How can I comfort myself right now?”
  • ALLOW Feeling it all, the safety of self compassion it isn’t as scary to know you will be supported

‘It’s easier to open up to yourself when you can trust that your pain will be held in compassionate awareness. The beauty of self compassion that is instead of replacing negative feelings with positive ones, new positive emotions are generated by embracing the negative ones. The positive emotions of care and connectedness are felt alongside our painful feelings.

Kristin Neff

People are often afraid to become compassionate towards themselves as they worry they will become weak, rejected or feel inadequate. When you remember to be self compassionate, you acknowledge life may suck, but you don’t make it worse by being consumed with all the negativity. You can deal with whatever challenges life throws your way feeling the full range of emotions to bring you back to being whole.