Edge Life by Cathy Combs

My Primer Of Healing Practices

My primer of healing practices takes me back to my childhood. My thoughts drift back to listening to others and observing my environment. As an adult now, I still claim both of those activities as key ingredients to healing. I also add the activity of listening to myself and observing myself; both activities of self-awareness.

Through my graduate school training and also my introduction to principles of New Thought in my spiritual life, I add to my primer of healing practices the awareness that the body~mind continuum is one united entity and that balance is the key to health and healing. If I overly use my body to the exclusion of my mind I am hurting myself. If I overly use my mind to the exclusion of my body I am hurting myself.

I am constantly amazed and amused at the timing of these awarenesses. They happened so close together back in the 70s as though my Higher Self knew these realities were related. The focus of my graduate school training was Gestalt Therapy, which emphasizes the importance of the body and mind functioning as an integrated unit; making the point in particular that if we are cut off from our feelings we are cut off from our very life. In much the same way New Thought emphasizes that our bodies are temples of Spirit and our minds are powerful. We can literally create health or disease by the thoughts we dwell on constantly.

The next level of my primer of healing practices includes my dreams, meditation, reading, writing, drawing, talking, and exercise. Through these mediums I pay attention not only to my body and mind but to my inner and outer life. I had a very important dream recently which I now understand was speaking to me again of the importance of balance; of how to be truly independently healthy; to sort out that which is mine to do, and that which is not mine to do. To say the very, very least I consider this awareness to be one of the key elements in my primer of healing practices.

The awareness that as I continue to heal my own life and do my own work I will be able to lovingly, responsibly, compassionately relate to all others in my life is very precious to me and very freeing. Recently I have come to new levels and depths of awareness of what this really means and how I am to function in carrying out this new pattern of relating to others. I have intuitively and intellectually understood this pattern for a very long time and now it has finally broken through to a much more visible and consistent way of doing!!!

My dream tells me the pattern is still very new and delicate, so I understand that practicing the new pattern is important. That awareness reminds me that another key ingredient in my healing primer is practicing these new developmental skills. If I want to lay a new pattern in my soul and in my new way of being, then practice is important. I playfully remember that age old adage that “practice makes perfect.” It's true!

That saying also reminds me of another ingredient for my healing primer and that is imagination. As I practice imagining myself in a new way of behaving I strengthen that skill and that pattern. I remember the first time I heard that research shows that people who practiced active imagination were just as successful at doing the skill as people who actually physically practiced doing the skill. That was an eye opener!

I cannot leave this topic of healing practices without specifically mentioning the importance of knowing when patterns of behavior have outlived their usefulness.

As children, we often learn patterns of behavior that simply help us survive physically. This pattern often translates to behaviors like being physically and emotionally invisible to stay out of harm's way. To reach an emotionally functional, joyful, transformative adulthood these childhood patterns have to go! To reach maximum potential, it is imperative to learn how to compassionately and fully express our feelings in emotionally stressful situations.

It is imperative to have boundaries of what is and is not acceptable and to be able to state them clearly and unwaveringly. It is imperative not to play roles of “victim”, “martyr”, “codependent caretaker”. It is imperative to be fully ourselves; to live our dreams, not just relegate our dreams to the realm of fantasy, and not to live our lives through others.

The last two ingredients in my healing primer are the will to cultivate an indomitable spirit and the presence to know that we are worthy of living a bountiful, joyful, healthy, loving life with happiness and peace--- beyond our wildest imagination! That truly is the essence of healing; to embrace the reality that our emotional, spiritual, physical world is far greater than we ever imagined until now.

This awareness serves as an invitation to:

  • Test our limits.
  • Test the self-imposed prison that we thought was the limit of our potential.
  • Go to the boundaries, then step through the boundaries, and realize the horizon keeps expanding.
  • Realize that every test adds strength and every strength gained brings more love and compassion.
  • Realize every horizon illuminates yet another rainbow.

Every rainbow holds the magnanimity of our presence. Every rainbow invites us to embrace the all-encompassing Love within us all. Every rainbow invites us to step into the very possible dream and to claim it as our very precious and possible reality...here and now!!! Peace and healing to us all!!!

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