Archive for the ‘Getting Out of the Way’ Category

It’s About the Work

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Ellsworth Kelly: Red and Blue from the series LIne Form Color

Ellsworth Kelly speaking about himself and Agnes Martin: “Agnes’s and my art share a love of the anonymous, of doing the work. The work itself is what’s important. We don’t want our personality in the art. We all had to get over Picasso, because his was great ”˜personality art.’ For abstract expressionists, gesture was very important ”“ we were trying to get away from the ”˜I,’ as in ”˜look how well I do it.’ Then, there is a stillness we appreciate in each other’s work, as in a common destiny.”

We often talk in SourcePoint about the resonances between healing and art, of healing as an art. We also talk about the importance of a practioner “getting out of the way.” As we connect with Blueprint for health, as we hold the points, it’s not about us. It’s about the work. This statement by Ellsworth Kelly beautifully expresses the principle of getting out of the way. It’s not about “personality healing.” It’s about the work. It’s about the “love of the anonymous,” being willing to be invisible. Years ago, I think in Of Water and the Spirit by Malidoma Somé, I read that true power remains hidden. It doesn’t display itself. It doesn’t need to. The love of the anonymous, the willingness to be invisible as one works, the emphasis on “the work” rather than personality: all of this goes against the prevailing cultural norms. Our culture values personality and celebrity.

If you are engaged in healing work, if you are reading these words, chances are you carry the archetype of the healer. Sometimes people are uncomfortable with that word “healer.” They think it sounds pretentious. It can be, if one is invested in it from a personality perspective. On the other hand, there is great benefit that comes from accepting that archetype in yourself when you recognize that in its very nature, the word is the opposite of pretentious. The word “healer” is indicative of a dedication to service and a commitment to benefit others, a willingness to let go of personality and personal power, and an awareness that “it’s about the work.” That’s what we mean by “healer,” not someone who magically cures other people of illness or injury, or who claims to do so. The root of the word heal means among other things to make whole. For healing we need to address the physical with appropriate physical modalities, and to recognize that there are methods of working with energy and consciousness that can help our connection to spirit, to Source, to the inherent Order, Balance, Harmony and Flow. That last is our work in SourcePoint Therapy. We provide a method of strengthening that connection.

Still, we all need support in that dedication and commitment and willingness. To provide that support is one of the intentions of this blog. When we come together to share our experiences of the power of getting out of the way, the beauty of the work itself, then, yes, really “there is a stillness we appreciate in each other’s work, as in a common destiny.”

Ellsworth Kelly’s quote appears in the book 3x Abstraction: New Methods of Drawing: Hilma af Klint, Emma Kunz, Agnes Martin, edited by Catherine de Zegher and Hendel Teicher.

©2011 Donna Thomson and Bob Schrei

Communication=Connection

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Neural Pathways

Neural Pathways

 

Fritjof Capra says “One lesson that nature teaches is that everything in the world is connected to other things.” In The Web of Life, referring to the immune system, he states“The entire system looks much more like a network, more like people talking to each other, than soldiers out looking for an enemy.” Hurray. If we begin to shift our perception that what goes on inside our bodies is constant battle, perhaps that shift will eventually be mirrored in the outside world.

At a practical level, methods such as non-violent communication work with assisting this shift in the outside world. Last week I said I would talk more about down to earth ways in which communication=health. In an interview with Marshall Rosenberg, founder of Nonviolent Communication, he says that it evolved from his attempt to get conscious of what he calls Beloved Divine Energy and how to connect with it. He continues, “To me, the violence in the world comes about when we get alienated or disconnected from this Energy. How do we get connected when we are educated to be disconnected?” He talks about being in a roomful of Bosnians and Serbs: “I remember sitting there in the middle of all this rage and pain and thinking, “Divine Energy, if you can heal all this stuff why are you taking so long, why are you putting these people through this?” And the Energy spoke to me, and it said, “You just do what you can to connect. Bring your energy in. Connect and help the other people connect and let me take care of the rest.”

At so many different we levels we find the theme of connection: connection to ourselves, to each other, and to the cosmos. Connection is communication, and connection at all those levels nourishes and sustains our health. The connection to the Blueprint in SourcePoint facilitates that connection to the cosmos, which in turn strengthens our connection to ourselves, and gives us a different foundation for our connection to others.

I’d like to share an experience I’ve had in healing through communicating with myself. Three years ago I began to experience severe, incapacitating episodes of vertigo, the kind where the room is spinning and rising and falling, every body system is in alarm and literally you can’t move anywhere. I sometimes ended up crawling from place to place, but mostly when it happened I just was immobilized and working with it to let it be, to subside and pass. I was diagnosed with Meniere’s Disease, and I’m not going to tell the whole story here, but it was a major teacher at many different levels. With lots of work and help and healing I’ve been pretty stable for almost a year now. I had a stable year after the initial occurrence, and then a major recurrence, so I’m not getting attached. I know the things I need to do to give myself the greatest opportunities of continued stability, and I do them, and one important ongoing activity is communicating with my body/mind/brain/nervous system.

Meniere’s is theoretically “caused” by excess fluid in the inner (not middle) ear that leaks out and disrupts the body’s balance. Toward the beginning I was being tested for all kinds of balance/vertigo possibilities. The audiologist explained to me that my inner ear was sending a danger signal to my brain, and my brain was reacting with all kinds of alarm messages back to my body. I decided I needed to let my brain know I wasn’t really in danger, that it was just a little extra fluid sloshing around! How to do this? I tried to talk to my brain without any noticeable effect. Then I happened upon a method in Donna Eden’s book “Energy Medicine” that she calls “temporal tapping.” For more details, see this book, p. 333. It involves using the three middle fingers of each hand to tap a message to the brain, behind each ear, along the side of the head from front to back. Negatively worded messages are tapped on the left side, positively worded messages on the right.

So I tried it. When I would begin to feel what I called “blips” in my perception that I knew were the forerunners of vertigo, I would tap the left side of my head repeating to myself, “There is no danger.” Then on the right side I would tap “I am safe.” Almost immediately I would feel a settling, and over time indeed the vertigo episodes became less frequent. I was doing a lot of other things too, including lots of SourcePoint, so who knows, but I believe this was very helpful. I was changing the message. I was communicating something to my body that it experienced as reassuring. And, I was responding to my condition by connecting and communicating with myself, and acknowledging what was going on inside me.

If you have a story about how communication with yourself, others, or the cosmos has lead to healing, I’d love it if you would post a comment and share it here.

© 2010 Donna Thomson and Bob Schrei

“Remembered Wellness”

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Photograph by Josh Schrei The Himalayas

Before Andrew Weil and Bruce Lipton, there was Herbert Benson, MD. He is the author of the fascinating book Timeless Healing: the Power and Biology of Belief, first published in 1995. Dr. Benson was ahead of his time in researching the effect of the mind on healing. His book is full of scientific studies on what is commonly called “the placebo effect.” He prefers to call it “remembered wellness” and I find this term very compatible with the principles of SourcePoint.

“Remembered wellness” is what happens when you connect to the blueprint. The body is recovering its memory of wholeness and completeness, of innate order, balance, harmony and flow. When you work with the points of SourcePoint Therapy, you are reminding the body of something it already knows.

Dr. Benson prescribes “the relaxation response” as a means of experiencing that remembered wellness. This is essentially a meditative technique to quiet the mind and connect with healing energies. As you know if you have experienced SourcePoint, a treatment can easily bring you to that place of deep relaxation.

There are other ways to evoke this remembered wellness that I have found through my own healing and work with other people. You can work with the conscious mind to evoke that memory. It’s best to work with a relative simple and minor injury to start with. It’s easier in that instance to let go of old belief systems and use the mind to alleviate the effect of the injury and support the process of the body’s natural self- healing.

As anyone who works with trauma knows, moments of trauma, even if they are minor, can get stuck in the body-mind. The flow of life is moving along and then something happens that disrupts that flow and that event gets frozen in time, in the memory. Instead of staying stuck in that moment, you can use your imagination, which is a powerful tool for healing. You can imagine the past differently to replace the memory of injury with a memory of wellness.

Let’s say I sprain an ankle, and I remember the principles and practices of SourcePoint. I immediately place my hands gently on my ankle, imagine the Diamond Points, breathe calmly and regularly, being aware of the breath, and repeat the words source, grounding, activation, transformation, as I visualize the points. Of course, if there’s someone around to hold the points for me, that’s even better.

Then I use my imagination to replay the event in my mind. I see myself walking along, coming to the place where the injury occurred, and instead of seeing the fall, I imagine myself continuing to walk right through that space and going on with my day. I feel myself doing that. At the level of space-time I am returning to the location of the injury, to the time of the injury, and seeing it differently, allowing the flow to progress along an alternative probability path, not getting stuck in the injury. As I imagine this, I am giving the body a deep message of how it was before the injury, before the wound, before the moment where the flow of health and wellness was disrupted.

I have used this approach frequently. It isn’t denial. It’s imagining a different outcome of a particular moment in time and letting my body experience that alternative. Studies have shown that the body reacts to imagination and visualization as it does to an actual event. In one study, some participants went to the gym and worked out; others did “virtual workouts” mentally. Those who went to the gym had a 30% muscle increase. Those who stayed home and did it mentally had a 13.5% increase, or almost half as much!

We aren’t looking to replace treatment at the physical level with this approach. We are looking to support the body in its healing, to bring in another level of support.Injuries need physical attention first!

After I imagine, I do the Guardian Points and invoke the guardians of the body to help me heal. The Diamond Points and Guardian Points in these acute situations for me are a kind of “energy first aid.”

I think we have barely tapped the surface of what Dr. Benson calls “timeless healing.” The potential of the healing power that comes from connecting to that original state of wellness, the blueprint for human health, we are really only beginning to discover and explore.

© 2010 Donna Thomson and Bob Schrei

Acceleration

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In the last post I wrote about how the practice of energy work requires a radical re-definition of self. I think it may also require a redefinition of time, beginning with an exploration of time and how it functions both in healing and in this experience of being embodied.

Everyone I talk to has a sense of time accelerating, moving faster. I was always told that would happen as I got older, but this perception now seems to be across the board, among all age groups. There is “no” time, there is never enough time, time seems to go faster and faster. It is harder to “be in the present moment” perhaps because the present moment seems to be getting shorter all the time. Thousands, or even just hundreds, of years ago time was more defined by daily and seasonal rhythms. Information traveled slowly. Moving through distance took a lot of time, and information traveled physically. Now the future arrives before we even have time to take a breath, and the past is gone as quickly as the next update arrives on our computer. Information travels instantly from one place to another.

If we look at human history, it’s intimately tied into a process of acceleration, to shifts in our experience of time: the first time a human being mounted a horse that galloped away, the invention of the steam engine and the coming of the trains, the airplane, the telegraph, the internet. It’s a constant acceleration. I am not bemoaning this, or wishing we could return to a “slower” time or more natural rhythm. That would be nice, perhaps, but it isn’t going to happen. I think health in the 21st century has a lot to do with what Tara Brach has called “Radical Acceptance.” I’m neither lauding the acceleration of our lives as progress, nor judging it as bad and unhealthy, just stating it as a fact, and something that we have to adjust to and work with. In our daily lives, to long for more time to come into balance is natural; but the reality is, how do we keep our balance in a rapidly accelerating world?

I’ve always felt that meditative time is different than ordinary time. A few moments of tuning into the rhythm of my breath, visualizing the Diamond Points around me, closing my eyes and feeling the pulse of energy within me, moves me out of the realm of ordinary time and space, into ”¦what? I can call it the present moment, I can call it timelessness, I could describe it many ways. Whatever it is, it’s very calming and restorative.

That experience leads me to reflect that this is also what we do when we connect with the blueprint in SourcePoint Therapy. The dimension of consciousness/energy in which the blueprint arises is, I think, the ultimate “present moment,” not eternal, but timeless, not fixed by our notions of past, present and future. Energy blocks are very much tied up with time. Our body holds memories of things that happened in the “past.” We are afraid of our illness or pain recurring in the “future” even as we feel momentarily better in the “present.” How to move the body out of that paradigm into an essential experience of wellness that is not defined by our past experience or our fears of the future? How to open up to that timeless information and just receive it? This reflection leads us to understand how the term “therapy” is appropriate for our particular form of energy work. SourcePoint is therapeutic in the same way that meditation can be said to be therapeutic. SourcePoint is a particular method for bringing greater order, balance, harmony and flow to the mind, body and spirit. It isn’t treating disease. It’s a way to support the natural flow of energy present in a balanced system by connecting us to the very Source of our being.

For now, I leave you to reflect on your perception of time and how it can create blocked energy, and how time perhaps affects our healing process. Next week, further thoughts and some specific methods I’ve explored for myself in working with time from the perspective of energy. And, just below, a meditation that works with the space between, finding those moments of timelessness, neither past, present, or future, in the midst of a busy life.

© 2010 Donna Thomson and Bob Schrei

More on Getting Out of the Way

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Another useful practice is, when holding the points, pay attention to what you are feeling in your own body rather than focusing on the client. This helps you to just let the blueprint do its work.

Sometimes, of course, images or insights about the client will come to you. Watch out for the phrase, “This is what I see in your energy.” What you say to them becomes a reality for them. Begin by asking them what they are experiencing. File away what you have seen as something that may or may not be relevant as the session unfolds. If you share what you have seen, offer it as a question to see if it resonates.

You can consciously withdraw projections at the end of a session. Bob does this regularly and feels it helps keep things clear between him and his clients. Simply say to yourself something like, “If there is anything I have projected on to this person, may that be released now into the light, and may the work done today be for his/her greatest good.”

Understand it’s impossible to get out of the way one hundred percent. There’s no such thing as total neutrality. At every moment you are bringing your own vocabulary, knowledge and experience to every situation. That’s why ongoing self-inquiry and awareness is an important aspect of doing energy work.

This subject is covered thoroughly in Module 3.

© 2009 Donna Thomson and Bob Schrei

Getting Out of the Way & The Golden Triangle

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As an energy work practitioner one of the most important skills to learn is that of getting out of the way. Getting out of the way means you don’t impose your own views or ideas. Rather, you respond to the unique being of each individual client.

People have their own modalities; often they have spent years acquiring and refining their skills, and this is good. The problem comes when people become attached to their information, their perspective, and end up seeing everything through that lens. Working from a SourcePoint perspective involves, in any situation, bringing to bear all the training and information one has, and then be willing to let go and be guided by the blueprint.

Here is a simple exercise that can help you get out of the way when working with a client. Imagine a light in the heart chakra of the client, and in your own heart chakra. Each of those lights is connected to a third light above you by a golden line. So the ray of golden light goes from your heart to the light above, and from the client to the light above, forming a triangle. This is an energetic pattern that symbolizes the connection of the client to that greater light, energy and healing information. It reminds you that your connection to the client is heart-based, but it is not your personal energy that is going to the client. You are connecting through the blueprint. You meet your client through that greater field of light, energy and healing information.

There are a number of specific ways of getting out of the way we’ll be covering.

© 2009 Donna Thomson and Bob Schrei

Intention and the Diamond Points

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The four Diamond Points that are the foundation of SourcePoint practice clearly express the intention of our energy work. These four points are the Source, Grounding, Activation, and Transformation Points. In SourcePoint Therapy our intention is simply to connect to Source and its information of order, balance, harmony and flow; ground and awaken that information on this plane of existence, particularly in individual human beings; and activate this information in the human body to bring transformation and balance.

Intention and activation are closely related. Attention is the essence of intention. When you focus on something, you activate it. (As a metaphor, think quantum physics here: a particle comes into being when it is observed). When holding the activation point, be aware of your intention to activate the information of Source in this individual being. It can be helpful to actually say to yourself (or the client if appropriate) at this point: our intention here is to activate this information in the physical body for the purpose of positive transformation.

Again, the natural intention of the blueprint is to maintain order, balance, harmony and flow. From this perspective, intention isn’t something you do; it’s a natural flow you enter into.

We’ll look at specifics of getting into and out of the way of that flow next week. I’m trying to keep these posts fairly brief, as I know how precious time is these days.

© 2009 Donna Thomson and Bob Schrei

Immersion

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When we do energy work, bodywork, or any other form of work with people it is important to look at whether that work energizes and recharges us, strengthens us, or whether we feel drained by it. This is where the integration of SourcePoint Therapy into other modalities can be very helpful, because it is a simple fact that when we are simply holding those four fundamental points, Source, Grounding, Activation and Transformation, if we attune ourselves, we are also being supported. We are getting nourished.

During most of a session with a client you are focused consciously on the client, working actively according to your modality to release blockages and facilitate the flow of healing information. During the scan your focus is certainly on the client. However, any time when you are holding the points, your focus should simply be on the points, the blueprint, and the flow of information. Then you also benefit.

In holding the points, especially the Source point, actually withdraw your conscious attention from the client, and focus on your body, specifically the palm of the hand as you hold the point. Notice the sensations. It may not be anything dramatic. There may sometimes be warmth or tingling or some other sensation, but that’s neither good nor bad, desirable or undesirable. Just feel yourself holding the point. Feel your mind touching the palm of your hand, resting in the palm of the hand.

As you hold the point, regardless of whether you say it to the client or not, be aware that you are connecting to the blueprint of health, and that information is flowing freely, not just to the client but to you. It is doing what it needs to do for the client and it is doing what it needs to do for you.

You can meditate with the blueprint and immerse yourself in it even when you are not holding the points. From the SourcePoint perspective, the body is a manifestation of the blueprint, of that information of order, balance, harmony and flow that gives rise to life and sustains life. The body itself expresses the delicate balance, the amazing flow, the precise information that is the nature of the blueprint.

When you immerse yourself in the experience of the natural rhythm of the body, you are immersing yourself in the blueprint, and the simplest way to do that is to pay attention to your breath. This is the key to connecting with the blueprint on your own, for yourself. As you focus on the rhythm of the breath, the in-breath and out-breath, just being aware of its natural rhythm, watching it slow itself down or speed itself up, you are immersing yourself in the blueprint, the fundamental pattern of order, balance, harmony and flow that supports life.

Just as you hold the four points for another person, when you want to immerse yourself in the blueprint, you can also imagine the four points around you. It’s easiest lying down but possible otherwise. Let your mind dwell briefly in each point. Imagine your mind is your hand; hold the point in your imagination just as your hand would hold the point for someone else. Your mind moves to each point. Your mind rests at that point and moves on.

A fundamental gift of learning and practicing SourcePoint Therapy is that it directly nourishes you as well as your client.

©2009 Donna Thomson and Bob Schrei

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