I hear one of two things from you after Mind-Body Healing (INside-OWT) appointments.
First, you often feel profound lightness, gratitude, or relief from the emotional burden you came in with. I love it. I light up with joy when I hear this. I know what it’s like to have those kinds of results.
Other times, I hear that you felt great for a week or so, and then some old thought patterns and emotions arose. Despite how normal this is, I sometimes fear that you might stop here, where your internal conflict is unresolved.
Why Some Healing Takes More Time
So I ask myself what happens when it takes more time to work through trauma or conflict. In my own INside-OWT healing journey, there were times I walked out of a session feeling like I was on top of the world. In one visit I could be completely free from something that had plagued me for years!
However, two of my emotional patterns required more work to change. One was people-pleasing, driven by my need for others to feel okay so that their emotions didn’t affect mine. The second was learning express myself instead of being quiet so that I wouldn’t attract conflict. Both patterns hooked back to my parents’ divorce when I was 7 years old. I needed to feel safe at all costs, and silently pleasing others was my choice method.
Some Internal Conflicts are Lifetime Habits
Entrenched emotional patterns are often influenced by multiple or long-lasting traumatic circumstances. During my mind-body healing journey, the energy of people-pleasing came to the fore repeatedly. Person after person came to my mind’s eye, as well as the inner child who had made the decision to shift to people-pleasing as a coping mechanism. In this energetic world I pulled back the strings of my mind attached to others’ opinions. I finally knew myself for what I was: separate from others, unique, and worthy of being seen. Now, people-pleasing is no longer my primary habit, but I slide back into it sometimes. The mind-body connection still guides me, though: my left shoulder freezes up when I wonder, “What will so-and-so think?” When this happens, I notice my thoughts and remind myself to bravely follow my own path.
Sometimes Action is Needed
The second pattern—not speaking my truth—kept coming up in sessions because although I knew I needed to speak, I felt scared. The idea was so new to me that I had to explore it, over and over. Thankfully, the patient healing process nurtured me, showing me how good it would feel to speak, the options for how to do it, and who I could speak my truth around and still feel supported. I kept feeling this inner change until one day, not speaking became more painful than the consequences of speaking and I took that giant leap forward.
Why Practice is Key
I remember asking my mentor how to respond to a practicum client who had a wonderful session with me but found the patterns popping up again when they were back home. “It’s about practice and the neural pathways,” my mentor replied. Neuroplasticity is our brain’s ability to build new pathways and delete old ones. In INsideOWT, we use the imagination to build new neural connections. Instead of taking the familiar path, this internal energy field is a playground of options. We sit with our conflict, playing with the energy of it, and discover new ways forward.
One session, then, might be all you need. Other times, the pattern is like being stuck in mud. You lift one hand, and the mud sucks harder at the other limbs. In INsideOWT, you’ve freed one corner, one trauma, one memory. You’re still affected, however, by all the other experiences attached to that same emotional pattern. Keep playing with the emotional energy when it comes up. Come back for another session if you can. The more you practice shifting this energy, the more your brain forms new pathways. Next time this feeling comes, you’ll have options for how to respond. (Here’s where the mud analogy ends, though: you will always feel lighter after freeing even one memory, not matter how small).
Remember to Be Brave
Also, let’s not ignore the fact that this inner energetic work can be a roller-coaster ride. This time you might explore a conversation from last week, while last session zoomed you back to a childhood trauma. I wrote a small article about the adventure of healing, and yes, it is so normal to feel scared about the process. At the same time, stay open to what could be: I and my clients have experienced sessions of such warmth, magic, and ease that all we could do was cry together in awe.
Let Healing Be Cyclical
Healing is a brave, courageous act, but we often heal in cycles of intensity and then rest. I wrote here about why we feel resistant to further healing; fatigue is one of the reasons. There is never any pressure to heal right now. Get off the roller coaster when you need time and space to care for yourself. Know, though, that your true self will let you know when it’s time for more adventure.
We wouldn’t want to be bored, anyway, would we?