Tuesday, August 3, 2010

The ART of Healing

As an author, words are a daily part of my life. Stringing together descriptive words to create a certain scene, a certain mood. And as Gavin McAllister says: “the impact of the words was in direct correlation to the emotions of the reader. Words could be twisted, knives to open up wounds long hidden. Maneuvered to evoke buried nightmares. Bare the soul, expose the wound”.

We often remember hurtful words, hateful words, words thrown out in moments of anger, depression and despair. And words, as well as images, can be incredibly powerful. They can and do create drastic changes in both your mind and your body.

Imagine a scene for just a moment. Your very best friend is about to reveal something to you. He/she states “I booked us on an Alaskan tour.” Your reaction would be elated. Happy. And you would feel that happiness in both your mind and your body. Now, let’s change the scene. And he/she says: “I just found out I have cancer.” The mental and physical reaction is drastically different. Instead of elation, you feel pain, fear, and perhaps just a little anger. Your physical reaction will also be different. Where before you felt energetic, anticipating the cruise, you now feel a certain tightness and/or depression.

There are some words, like the example above, we can’t control. We can’t control the words being spoken to us, nor can we totally control our mental and physical reaction to those words.

But let’s take a look at everyday life. Are we letting words we speak or hear control us? When you utter harsh words to someone it doesn’t just hurt them, it also hurts you. Your own mental and physical well-being are damaged by the internal conflicts of those words. And how often have you been so sorry for words you uttered in anger, or words you lashed out with when in pain? Words you wished you could take back the moment they were spoken?

We all need love, affection and reassurance. Words attached to emotions. In meditation we often give ourselves positive suggestions. In a deepened state of awareness words like: “I am loved” have an overall positive effect on our emotional and mental attitude as well as our physical health.

But we live in the real world the majority of the day, faced with money problems, finding a job, paying the bills, feeding the family, and just trying to survive. So how do we find time to use words that purify our mind of negative thoughts, lighten our mood and add a positive element to both our surroundings and demeanor?

This is where the ART of healing comes in. Try this for just a moment, paying special attention to how you feel emotionally and physically. Sing “The Itsy Bitsy Spider” making the hand motions (yeah, I know you’re at work and everyone is going to think you’re nuts—do it on your lunch hour when you’re alone, or go to the bathroom and sing it to yourself). Actually if managers would take a fifteen minute break and have all the employees sing “Itsy Bitsy Spider, Mary Had a Little Lamb, Twinkle, Twinkle Little Star” I bet production would increase because the employees would feel better both mentally and physically.

It’s hard to sing these little nursery rhymes and not smile. An immediate mood adjustment. And those mood adjustments create an immediate physical reaction, allowing your body for just a moment or two to relax the tension that has been building throughout the day. Relaxing the body allows your organs to function easier, and blood to flow to tense areas. Healing to begin.

Can’t bring yourself to sing nursery rhymes? Then choose another upbeat song. Something you like. Something that makes you feel GOOD. Do this several times a day and you should see a noticeable change in both your mental attitude as well as your physical well-being and even perhaps your surroundings. Happy thoughts create a happy atmosphere.

Have a great day. And give someone a smile—it makes you both feel better.

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