Resistance to Being Fully Present

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People initially approach me with an enthusiasm saying that they want to heal. That enthusiasm often disappears as soon as the underlying feelings and issues that are the source of many of their problems start making their way to the surface. This loss of enthusiasm stems largely from people’s resistance to being present with their feelings, physical bodies and the realities of their everyday lives. This same resistance is what prevents people from gaining awareness, learning from their experiences, growing and healing.

I have watched so many people take a few steps to heal only to have their resistance to being present derail the healing process. Ella has been working as a nutritionist for many years and yet she has always struggled to support herself. The relationship with her partner is very tumultuous at times. Ella and her partner fight like cats and dogs. Her fears of dying have grown along with the range of age related health issues that have emerged in recent years. Ella has been too fearful to go in for a physical exam, despite any concerns she might have for her health and wellbeing.

I would have Ella close her eyes, bring the issues and concerns to the forefront of her awareness, notice what she was feeling within her body and then tell me where the feelings were situated. I then had Ella breathe into the feelings and sensations that arose. People that I work with often tell me how this practice helps them to diffuse and then digest the highly charged emotions that are the source of many of their difficulties. Ella was incredibly resistant to the process and would sometimes say “I hate this!”

Ella had resisted being present for so long that her internal state of being has become a living hell. I told her that she couldn’t possibly experience all of these feelings or go through so much discomfort if she weren’t holding so much toxic drama and emotion within her body. What she hates is being present in her own body, with the feelings contained therein and the realities of her everyday life. Needless to say, Ella’s drama continues.

Most people do not react as Ella did. They may even enjoy the healing process and acknowledge the benefits that they have derived from the individual sessions. Some even rave about the difference the healing sessions have made in their lives, and yet many cannot sustain this level of presence.

Mia was sexually abused as a child and was later abused by the psychiatrist she sought out for treatment. She had so medicated herself into oblivion that one of her friends had to call and schedule the initial appointments. Before long Mia was able to call and schedule her own sessions. With each of the individual session she was developing greater lucidity. Mia began to address the issues pertaining to her finances, her mother’s failing health and it was quite obvious that she was beginning to function better in all areas of her life. I had hopes for Mia after seeing her starting to return to herself, but she would do a few sessions and then disappear for periods time. She would show up months later and then disappear again. I haven’t heard from Mia in quite some time now. The last time I spoke with her, it was evident that she was allowing herself to sink back into her pharmaceutically induced haze.

People like Mia are holding a lifetime of pain, trauma, fear and confusion within their bodies. Matters are further compounded because they lack many of the basic faculties needed to facilitate the healing of these traumas. Traumatic experiences and their corresponding emotional responses alter the biochemical makeup and neurostructure of the brain. The subtle bodies consisting of the chakras and layers of the aura are often damaged and in many instances they fail to fully develop. The combination of these factors can leave survivors of trauma overwhelmed and incapacitated.

The presence working through me during the individual sessions facilitates healing by helping people like Mia to diffuse and then digest the traumas and subsequent layers of emotion. Changes in the structural and biochemical makeup of the brain and the building of the chakras and layers of the aura resulting from the healing sessions make it easier for these individuals to contain and then process their feelings and experiences. Feelings and memories need to be brought to the surface so that healing can take place. The first impulse of many survivors of trauma is to run. The challenge is getting people that who have suffered as a result of traumatic events to remain present to themselves by sticking with the process long enough to build a strong and healthy foundation.

Resistance is inevitable because we learn from such an early age to disconnect from our bodies, our feelings and issues and the realities of our lives that we don’t want to deal with. Our habitual tendency to avoid or resist causes these patterns to become even more deeply ingrained. It is critically important for us to understand that our feelings and the issues we need to be addressing will never just go away. Whatever we fail to process will remain trapped within our bodies and minds. And that will cause our bodies and minds to break down.

We smoke and drink and self-medicate with other recreational drugs. We take pharmaceuticals to numb the pain. We eat way more than our body needs to sustain itself. And we spend hours of the day on Facebook, Instagram and other social media sites and we find innumerable other distractions to take us away from what it is that we don’t want to feel.

The feelings we disconnect from may no longer register within our conscious awareness after some time. Our resistance to being present is what prevents us from becoming fully conscious. To the extent that we’re not being conscious we’re walking around in a state of unconsciousness. The disconnect becomes so great that it leaves us blind and numb to whole bandwidths of our consciousness. The resulting desensitization prevents us from seeing and feeling the implications of our actions upon ourselves, other people and the world in which we live. And that accounts for so much of our craziness individually and collectively as a human species.

We may eat right and exercise. We may even pray, meditate, chant mantras, do Tai Chi, Yoga, Pranayama, go to our preferred house of worship and bow at the guru’s feet and yet we still deny and disconnect from our feelings, avoid the issues and refuse to go to those wounded places within. Prayer, most forms of meditation, yoga and tai chi all benefit us in many ways and yet they’re not going to heal the deep emotional wounds. And no great god from the sky is going to come down and take it all away. We have to become fully present to our issues, the realities of our lives and the subsequent feelings that arise from them.

I was very resistant to the painful feelings that arose in response to the abuses suffered during my childhood and adolescence and the subsequent patterns of abandonment, unrequited love and abusive relationships that began to play out in my adult life. My resistance to what I was feeling reinforced the relational dynamics that were causing me to suffer so terribly. This same resistance is what prevented me from healing. It took me a long time to realize that I could never escape from the pain. I could only go through the middle of it. I taught myself to be fully present to the realities of what wasn’t working in my relationships and all the subsequent feelings attached to them. Breathing into all the feelings and physical sensations began to awaken the innate healing power residing within my body and mind. The pain was transformed. And in the process of doing so it became fuel for growth.

There were many instances where I would start to access my feelings, but my internal resistance would cause me to pop out of them. I had to train myself to remain fully present to my feelings by continually bringing myself back to them whenever my defense mechanisms caused me to jump track. I would breathe into the numbness during those times I couldn’t access my feelings or the stuckness I felt when parts of my life weren’t working.

I have been making a very conscientious effort to become more cognizant of the many areas of life where I am resistant. I do that by teaching myself to pay more attention to the times when I react to people and situations. At other times catch myself complaining about what’s not working, becoming frustrated or angry or trying to control the outcome of a situation.

It is appropriate for us to react when we’re faced with a legitimate threat to our wellbeing. Most situations do not warrant such a strong response. I find that I can respond more appropriately to people, situations and the issues that are of concern to me when I breathe into the feelings that were causing me to react. And then there are other times when I need to let go of any attempt to control or influence and just allow people and circumstances to be as they are.

All kinds of feelings and issues make their way to the surface in response the various practices and interventions that I do. It can feel very uncomfortable at the time these feelings and issues are surfacing, but I always feel a greater sense of aliveness and find that I’m more capable of doing whatever it is that I need to be doing as I work through the feelings and issues. I want as much of this aliveness, presence and power as I can get.

There are times when I felt incredibly resistant while on the vision quest, a traditional Native American healing practice that involves going out to fast alone in the mountains for four days and nights without food or water. The resistance becomes so strong as the powerful forces working on me began to move through my body. I sometimes felt as though I wanted to jump out of my skin. I would become so angry and frustrated as the resistance intensified that I wanted the whole experience to be over with. I finally realized after some time that it was during these times when I felt the most overwhelmed and the most resistant that I was making the greatest breakthroughs. I learned to stop fighting the process by becoming as present as I possibly could in the midst of my discomfort. The breakthroughs I experienced became that much more profound as I learned to become more fully present in this way.

Healing requires courage, commitment and consistency. Healing and personal growth ceases to happen when we stop feeling and addressing our issues and embracing life. The feelings, issues and realities of our daily lives that need to be dealt with can be unpleasant at times, but the only true way forward is to remain fully present to the best of our ability. Facing our issues, dealing directly with life as it unfolds, feeling what we truly feel and making use of the interventions that enable us to facilitate the aspects of our healing process that we cannot fully do on our own make it possible for us to keep putting one foot in front of the other.

©Copyright 2015 Ben Oofana. All Rights Reserved. This content may be copied in full, with copyright, creation and contact information intact, without specific permission.

Ben Oofana is a healer who began his training with Horace Daukei, one of the last surviving traditional doctors among the Kiowa Indian tribe. Call (913) 927-4281 to learn more or to schedule an individual session.

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Finding the Source of Nourishment Within

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Pasha began to open up to me one day about the profound sense of emptiness she feels on the inside “…I often feel scared and restless, feeling as though I have to reach outside of myself for something in order to survive. I can’t explain what is it that I’m looking for, but I’m constantly searching and that creates a lot of stress and distraction in my life. I’m trying to find these moments of joy and happiness that prove to be elusive. I manage to grab onto them at times, but they never truly satisfy me. I always find myself wanting more, but more is either not available or never enough.”

I responded by saying “I wasn’t very conscious of my body until the trauma of my childhood and adolescence began to make its way to the surface during my mid to late twenties. Lots of things didn’t seem to be working in my life at that time. I was struggling to survive financially and my relationships were reflecting the traumas of my early life. And that was evoking lots of painful feelings.

Most people find a way to numb themselves or disconnect from the painful feelings. Escape routes never seemed to work for me. I found myself consumed by debilitating pain that was so intense and feared that I could go over the edge. I had an intuitive sense that I needed to breathe into the painful feelings.

I taught myself to go down into the middle of the feelings that arose during those times when my life didn’t seem to be working. I just kept breathing into the feelings and I continued to follow them as they went through their progression. The initial stages of the process were sometimes very difficult, but the discomfort would either break apart and come out of my body in waves, dissolve or dissipate. The process could take minutes, hours and sometimes even days, but I would keep breathing until I eventually came out the other side. I began to realize that no matter how intense or extreme the feelings became, that I would still be okay.

Pain became a doorway during those times in my life when nothing seemed to be working. The pain was excruciating, but at a certain point I could feel something breaking open. I would then feel these emanations flowing from within in the form of a warmth, vibration or tingling sensations. These emanations had a very nourishing and sustaining quality. I began to feel connected to something greater than myself as this presence grew stronger filling my entire body. At times I felt as though I had tapped into an eternal presence.

My sense of connectedness grew as I continued to work with this practice. Over time I began to feel this presence with me at all times. This presence became noticeably stronger when I began to work with this practice consistently.”

Does it really matter what we achieve?

Pasha then asked me if it really mattered what we achieved in this life.

“It’s important for us to find a balance. We’re living here in physical bodies on this planet and we all strive to meet basic needs for comfort and security. We need to be engaged with the world around us and to have some sense of purpose or direction. The things that we achieve in this world that are connected to the expression of our authentic selves facilitate growth and personal development.

We want to enjoy a certain quality of life and to some extent we are dependent upon others to meet our needs. And yet other people and our circumstances do not always work to our advantage. Even when they do, there are limits to the enjoyment or satisfaction we can derive through others.

Most of us are not with the love of our life. Our relationships are often not working the way we want them to. We may struggle financially. And we may encounter all kinds of hardships and difficulties along the way. Everyone and everything in this material world is transitory. Our bodies break down, we age and eventually die. Every one we ever know or love will leave or die. Everything that we build will eventually come down. Nothing will last forever. The only thing we have that continues is our own connection to the source.

We experience feelings of hurt, grief, loss, fear, anger and disappointment in response to the setbacks and losses we incur. Learning to “digest” our feelings enables us to maintain a healthy form of detachment. That will enable us to derive grater enjoyment from what we experience along the way.

We can learn to make a practice of taking whatever happens in our lives and using it as fuel for growth. Breathing into the feelings that surface when things do not seem to be going our way makes it easier for us to let go of what’s now working. We will become more receptive to new opportunities that come along. We will experience more peace within and find ourselves moved by a greater presence.”

Pasha was saying “I sometimes find it difficult to be fully engaged. I see other people working to their full capacity who are totally engaged in life. But with all that pain coming out I don’t feeling like doing much of anything.”

“The pain and stress held within often cause us to shut down or contract in ways that make it difficult for us to function. I didn’t feel like doing much of anything during the more difficult stages of the healing process. The sense of heaviness gradually became lighter as we continued to take the steps necessary to facilitate healing. The source of nourishment flowing from within creates the momentum that gives us a clearer sense of purpose and direction and compels us to be fully engaged.”

Pasha then said “I’m experiencing a lot of painful sensations in the low back and pressure in my head. Will this healing presence began to awaken and will I derive some sense of nourishment if I keep breathing into the feelings and sensations in these parts of my body? How would breathing into the painful sensations connect me with this source of nourishment?”

“Unprocessed feelings and other stresses held within can situate themselves in various parts of our bodies. The pain and stress that we hold within has a very numbing or deadening effect. Whole portions of our body-mind consciousness shut down and we lose touch with the innate healing power that resides within.

It’s important for us to let down our resistance by fully opening up to any pain or discomfort. We need to center our awareness in the middle of the pain and other forms of discomfort lodged in various parts of our bodies. Breathing softly and deeply with our attention fully immersed in the feelings and sensations activates the innate healing intelligence residing within. This healing intelligence helps us to dissolve and then digest the pain and stress held within various parts of our bodies.

Breathing into our feelings and bodily sensations awakens that innate healing intelligence that resides within. It also opens doorways that and that makes it possible for us to connect with a presence greater than ourselves. This presence will nourish and sustain us. We can greatly accelerate this process by working with a powerful healer.”

Pasha then asked me “What about people who are not going through a lot of pain? How can they connect to this presence within?”

I responded by saying “We all encounter adversity somewhere along the way. We may experience emptiness or boredom. We worry about our health, our financial security and the people who matter to us. We experience grief when the people we love and care about are no longer a part of our lives. We struggle to know what direction to go and feel unfulfilled in different aspects of our lives.

Breathing into the feelings and sensations that arise awakens the greater healing intelligence residing within. This will enable us to digest the stresses, connect to the authentic core residing within and tap into a greater presence.”

©Copyright 2013 Ben Oofana. All Rights Reserved. This content may be copied in full, with copyright, creation and contact information intact, without specific permission.

Ben Oofana is a healer who began his training with Horace Daukei, one of the last surviving traditional doctors among the Kiowa Indian tribe. The practices he teaches and individual healing sessions will enable you to heal and find the source of nourishment within. Call (913) 927-4281 to learn more or to schedule an individual session.