A couple of weeks ago, my wife Chris and I attended a course at a clinic in London. This was quite an achievement in itself as we'd previously hoped to attend last year but Chris' back went in the shower on the morning of our departure and the trip had to be postponed. We nearly didn't make it again this year, as Chris' back was dodgy again and the weather did its bit by flinging copious amounts of snow in our direction, not least on the very day of our travel. But gritty determination - helped by the grit on our driveway - won through in the end.
After all this effort, it was quite ironic that there was nothing in the substance of the course which I hadn't already written about here at The Secret of Life: namely coming into the moment; NLP (neuro-linguistic programming) and EFT (emotional freedom technique). What was very valuable, however, was the realization that these tools could be used not only for our spiritual development but also to help with our long term health condition: we've both had CFIDS (also known - principally - as ME here in Britain).
Increasingly, in recent years, these and other such techniques are being used to treat CFIDS, the theory being that those of us who have had the condition are prevented from healing because our bodies are stuck in a highly-stressed 'fight or flight' state (known as 'maladaptive stress response'). The suggested aim is to develop the habit of spending most of our time in a more relaxed 'healing state' instead.
I'm occasionally asked if all the spiritual work I've done has helped my physical health as well, and I've always replied with a cheery "no - not really". This has never bothered me very much because I haven't been doing the spiritual work with such an expectation in mind. But I realize now that there may be a very good reason why there hasn't been a physical 'pay-off': because I still have a lot of work to do to integrate such spiritual progress as I have made into my everyday life. I have written on this blog about being 'in the zone', in tune with the universe, and so on, but the truth is that I am only in that sort of state of consciousness for about one or two percent of my time. For the rest of the time, I'm still in the same uneasy relationship with life that I always have been, with an eye out for the next thing likely to go wrong and a pathological desire to please all the people I meet: by no means the most relaxed state of mind to carry around with me.
Or to put it another way: there is a considerable disparity between the beliefs I write about on this blog and those ideas which are fixed at the front of my skull as I go about my life, the two big ones I've lumbered myself with being a) if I'm not careful, something terrible will happen and b) other people's opinion of me is important - neither of which are exactly conducive to peaceful healing.
So I need to really work at this (in a gentle, therapeutic kind of a way :-) ): to allow the ideas I espouse in this blog to penetrate into my subconscious mind so that I carry them with me through my day. I need to integrate them into my life, integration being the term which my friend Sue Ann has used to describe this process. Or to put it another way, I need to walk the walk instead of just talking the talk.
So, this is yet another one of those posts where I say I'll be blogging a bit less in the near future, though you've probably got used to them by now. To judge by past experience, the likelihood is that the blog will plod along in much the same way as it always does, though if I seem to be slacking from time to time, you'll know that I'm doing what I really need to be doing, which is working on myself - I hope you will be kind enough to be patient.
In case anyone is wondering, the London clinic we attended is the Optimum Health Clinic, and as well as the psychology-based approach I mentioned above, they also provide nutritional therapies (aka 'functional medicine') which we also receive. If you have CFIDS/ME yourself and would like more feedback about the clinic, please leave a comment or send me an email (see the email link near the top of the sidebar).
It's interesting, though, that the clinic advocates this kind of approach for CFIDS. They don't market it specifically as a spiritual approach, and it is possible to use the techniques they teach without getting into the spiritual dimension at all, but it's kind of lurking there beneath the surface and there is a spirituality section on the clinic's web site.
I have occasionally come across the idea of CFIDS being linked to spirituality in some way and there do indeed seem to be people with the condition at most of the spirituality events I attend. This is scarcely surprising perhaps, because the 'enforced leisure' which the condition affords provides ample scope for asking such questions as 'who am I?' and 'what is the point of life?', enquiries which might normally be overlooked in the hustle and bustle of everyday life.
More controversially, I've heard it suggested that people become ill with CFIDS because of the spiritual transformation involved in developing a 'light body'. I haven't been convinced by this theory, however, because it seems to me that plenty of other people are undergoing spiritual transformations without any such inconvenience to their health.
But the clinic's approach to CFIDS makes me speculate. I've written before on this blog about the need for the human race to undergo a transformation in consciousness if we are to survive our present difficulties. But how is such a thing to be achieved when the need seems to be so urgent? People talk about something big happening in 2012, but that is only a few years away now. We seem to be running out of time. How is all this transformation supposed to take place?
Perhaps the economic upheaval in the world has come to entice us towards this change in consciousness, and perhaps there are other such uncomfortable incentives waiting in the wings. But perhaps it is also significant that CFIDS/ME seems to be affecting an increasing proportion of the population, and that the ultimate cure for this condition may now prove to be nothing less than spiritual transformation itself. I'm not sure if this is a carrot or a stick, but it's a big enough incentive to walk the walk...
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