Evolving Relationships
In the 21st Century

Article Three

The Path to Healing Begins
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Jay Whitham and Wendy Nethersole co-founded The Anam Cara Foundation in 2000.

The Foundation is dedicated to helping people to become clear about their true identity and purpose, and integrate that into the essence of their lives.

Visit their website at:
www.anamcaraspirit.com
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The Path to Healing Begins

We believe that the path of relationship is not only a powerful path, but can be a spiritual path as well. We began our series speaking of and describing "The Visioned Relationship." Keeping this in mind, our first articles have focused more on the individual taking personal responsibility and making commitments and choices to facilitate their own healing rather than depending on a partner to provide the healing. These initial steps and focus on the individual are important for creating a healthy Visioned Relationship.

In this installment and the next we will offer concrete actions that you can take to help recognize and make life choices in support of healing, balance, and wholeness-personally and in relationship. This article will cover two of these actions: 1) making a soul level commitment to your personal and spiritual growth, and 2) healing your core error in belief.

We would like to add that it is not necessary for you to do this work alone for it to be effective. Doing the work in concert with your beloved can be a profound and deeply meaningful experience; we recommend it. The quality of the shared experience will depend on your temperament and that of your beloved, and how willing and able you are to open yourselves and support each other in your growth process. Going through your personal process while your beloved does the same, and being a good non-judgmental listener, offers an incomparable opportunity for you to learn deep truths about each other as you learn them about yourselves, with the potential to develop trust, understanding, and deep compassion beyond anything you may have shared previously.

It is our firm belief, based on personal experience and facilitating with other couples, that both partners must commit to doing their personal healing work and clarify their life purpose and intentions before entering into the shared visioning that is the basis of the Visioned Relationship. The work will not be complete, as it is a life long work-in-process, but it must be well begun if the vision is to reveal itself with the divine fullness of authenticity.

Action 1: Making a soul level commitment to your personal and spiritual growth

Our life can be compared to a river, with the channels and tributaries of relationship bringing us a multitude of experience, both joyful and painful, that contributes to our growth. Often, we are not able to recognize the ways in which our experiences move and shape us until well after the experience has passed. Depending upon our perspective on the nature of our growth experiences, we choose the meaning that we give to them.

Change and growth is an endless cycle in all of our lives. It is when we resist these cycles that we are most likely to experience mental, physical or emotional pain and suffering. We all have varying levels of tolerance for pain. However, when we have had enough of pain and suffering we may finally surrender to the knowledge that there is something greater than ourselves at work in the Universe and that, even if we can not see it in the moment, there is a blessing offered in all of our experiences. This is when we can really make some progress. What a relief it is to be able to give up trying to control everything that happens in our lives and trying to make our experiences fit into our life script as we have written it.

This is the point at which we may choose, if we wish, to make a soul level commitment to our personal and spiritual growth. The commitment to personal and spiritual growth creates many changes in our life, but perhaps none more significant than ceasing to struggle against an irresistible flow and beginning to literally "go with the flow." The resulting change in energy and possibility that results is truly awesome. Soul level commitments are personal commitments that are not made lightly. They require honesty and perseverance and an understanding that once you declare that your priority is to be your personal and spiritual growth-above all else-you are letting go of your hedges, fall-back strategies, and excuses for not living up to your commitment. These choices are made at the cellular level and permeate your whole being, touching all aspects of your life. The vibrational shift that comes with this commitment provides fertile ground for powerful transformation that will usher in changes; some of which may be quite sudden and perhaps a bit frightening, but ultimately magnificent. A little awareness can go a long way toward understanding that what at first appears to be a state of great chaos is actually the initial breaking down of old patterns necessary to allow space for new opportunities to come in.

As an example, we would like to share our own story with you. We (Jay and Wendy) personally made a shared soul level commitment when we made a joint declaration to the Universe in 1999 that "all of our life choices, as manifest in thought, word, and deed, will always and forevermore maintain, support, and enhance our spiritual and personal growth, our freedom to choose, our creative expression, our commitment to passion, truth, and living our bliss, and the experience of inner harmony and peace."

Within three weeks our lives were in great turmoil, as the work that had previously provided our support seemed to evaporate, almost overnight, with no apparent reason. We knew, however, that these events were not "accidental" but had come with the vibrational shift ushered in with the declaration. What we hadn't realized was how powerful these commitments could be, especially when focused with double intent, and how rapidly the Universe would respond. But there was no turning back, and in accepting responsibility for the changes we manifested, our life path and purpose began to be revealed. As we continued to explore ways to find our truth and to create the life experience we desired, we realized that, for us, the process would also become the path.

Subsequently, in 2000, we established The Anam Cara Foundation. Through our foundation, we assist others to do what we have been doing for several years: "to clarify identity, intention, purpose, and action" in their lives. This path continues to evolve today through our work with people of different backgrounds, issues, and challenges.

This personal experience, and many others we have had related to us over the years, confirms the power that soul level commitments contain.

Once you have made this commitment, the period that follows can seem like riding a roller coaster out of control. But it doesn't have to be that way. Simple awareness of Universal Law and a willingness to open to the adventure and flow of life, trusting that there is always a larger perspective that will eventually reveal its blessing, can help to ease and illuminate your path with many powerful insights and opportunities.

This is a wonderful time for you to experience the stillness of the mind; to still the mental chatter that may have been your constant companion, judging your every move, generally keeping you on edge, mentally exhausted, and emotionally wrung out.

Whatever way you find to slow down the pace of your life is fine. This may be yoga, writing, gentle exercise (preferably in nature), meditation, painting, or anything you find to be totally relaxing. This is part of your soul level commitment, exploring and connecting with your inner self. The initial surrender and commitment is the key to allowing space for redirection and newness, for the soul's evolution. Attention to life experience, without judgment and with compassion, will begin to bring about tremendous personal and spiritual growth, all in the perfect and divine timing that is yours and yours alone.

If you choose to make such a commitment we offer a few suggestions drawn from our own experience and that of people with whom we have worked:

1) First among these is to do some serious consideration of your most deeply held values. Make a list of the values that you hold and then narrow the list of "core values" to a manageable number of perhaps five or six. This is always a challenge because when we start to make choices about values and their priorities in our lives we struggle. How can we possibly choose love and not compassion or integrity and not service? The answer is that you don't, really. When you choose one value as "core," simply know in your heart that the values you did not choose are contained within the ones you chose and you have not rejected them or implied that you do not value them.

2) When you have clarified your core values, compose a statement or declaration that expresses clearly and powerfully how you want your life to be an expression of those values and how those values will support your life. Make it concise but complete.

3) When you have completed your declaration, choose a quiet and peaceful location, sign it and date it, and with your whole heart and soul speak your declaration out loud and release it to the Universe, knowing that it is so. If you enjoy ritual, you can create a small ritual around the experience with candles, incense, flowers, and maybe witnesses if you desire, but it is not necessary.

4) Keep a nicely printed copy of your declaration that you can read again from time to time and notice how what you declared has shown up in your life.

Action 2: Heal your core error in belief

It has been our experience that by the time we reach adolescence, and certainly by young adulthood, we all have a "core belief" that is based in error that drives much of our behavior and impacts how we see ourselves and others in the world. The core false belief underlies an entire belief system that dominates our personal "story" of how the outer world works and our role in it. Examples of some typical core beliefs are:

I am unlovable.

I am not safe in the world.

I am not enough.

I am unable to take care of myself.

It is not safe to love.

No one hears or sees me because I don't really matter.

I deserve to be attacked.

To heal the core false belief and release the errors in belief that sustain it, it is necessary to explore your "story," which includes exploring all the ways you sabotage and block knowing the truth of who you really are. Until the core false belief is revealed, understood, and released, we continue to draw to us people, situations, or jobs that allow us to continue our version of the story. These dramas keep us playing hero or victim roles that repeat themselves in the patterns of our lives. Eventually we become emotionally exhausted or even physically ill from repeating patterns that keep us feeling helpless, limited, or disempowered.

The behavior patterns we exhibit that no longer serve us (by keeping us limited) can be released through understanding the original event that, when it occurred in our life, imprinted an error in belief into our cellular memory. Once the core false belief is understood, it can be cleared away, along with the related errors in belief that resulted, thereby allowing a connection with our true self, our Authentic Self.

Most people have an awareness of what the limiting patterns are that keep showing up in their lives. These are always opportunities for healing, but until we find a way to heal the energy that draws them they continue to trouble us. However, it is not so easy to make the connection between the "core false belief" and the original event that triggered what we came to believe about ourselves that, while untrue, we have embraced as truth. To make this connection, it is often helpful to have an experienced person to guide you through a meditative process.

We often work with individuals, couples, and small groups in a healing process we learned years ago and have since modified for various applications. It is a powerful yet simple guided meditation that stills the mind enough to dialogue with the "inner wisdom self" or "higher self" and receive profound insights. Our inner wisdom self is our connection to the divine, to our soul. This inner presence knows everything that ever happened to us and has available for us solutions to any problems our minds may have conceived. Usually, the insights that come through are profound and always life changing, because with the understanding comes a clearing of old energy. It is not unusual for individuals to burst into tears or simply exclaim in amazement over something that, once illuminated, seemed so simple a connection. And yet the influence it had wielded had been so powerfully woven into the fabric of their everyday lives that it affected every part of their experience.

1) If you prefer to work on this release alone, you may try simply getting very quiet and creating a dialogue with your higher self, asking questions and journaling responses or meditating with a pad and pencil for insights.

2) Explore your beliefs about yourself. Be honest; the Universe responds to what you really believe, not what you say you believe.

3) Ask your higher self to reveal to you times in your early life that you had experiences related to false beliefs you have held about yourself and the world.

4) Also ask your higher self to help you know and embrace the truth of who you are: divine, perfect, and whole, and in so doing to release the error in belief that no longer serves you.

5) If you find this difficult, do not hesitate to ask for professional assistance. (We are always available to assist in your healing process or to refer you to someone else who can help.)

6) There is another part of this healing process that is very important: This is accepting and embracing the entire self, and recognizing what we call "the gold." It is important to let go of the past. It is important to gain the understanding for the release. But then you must release it! You must be able to accept and embrace yourself completely, including the parts you do not like. It is only from that place of wholeness that you can move into your fullness and that includes successful relationships.

We encourage everyone who embraces this healing process to recognize the gifts that have been revealed to you: the "gold." This includes gifts that come through the insights of the healing process, but also the gifts that came through many years of coping with the core false belief and transformative events in your life. These gifts are unique to you and made you stronger and wiser. You may begin to feel distress that much of your precious life was wasted because of the core false belief and the ways in which it impacted your life. We always emphasize that nothing is ever wasted. The life experiences we have had made us the person we are today and will serve as a strong foundation for our evolving life path. These gifts may include compassion, sensitivity, generosity, understanding, gentleness; or perhaps a capacity to listen, to comfort, or to uplift someone else in their pain and struggle.

Sometimes a life transforming event that seems to be a tragedy at the time it happens is really an opportunity to find your true path and lead you to making a significant impact on the world, whether you are dealing with millions of people or only a select few who need you.

Consider for example, the great artist Frida Kahlo. She had always loved painting and yet, until a serious bus accident laid her up in a body cast for many long months, she did not seriously study painting. Her convalescence provided a long period of time confined in bed. This gave her the opportunity to paint and draw for many hours and she was able to refine her skills and natural talents. At the same time she realized how much she loved to paint and dedicated herself to pursuing her passion more seriously. She went on to have a huge impact on both art and politics.

A similar experience caused a man named Julio to pursue his love of singing and started him on a path that would result in his becoming one of the world's best known performers-Julio Iglesias.

We all have gifts we are meant to express. The events of our life often bring them to light in the most unexpected ways. So pay attention and be appreciative!

An important part of the healing process and exploring and understanding our "story" is to be grateful for the lessons that come our way as we learn to love and accept ourselves. In this way we recognize and honor our whole self and are able to come back to a place of healing and balance that is our true center; our authentic self.

Anam Cara offers workshops to help facilitate the "action steps" listed here.

2005 Jay Whitham and Wendy Nethersole

For more information about individual and couples spiritual life counseling, workshops, and classes, please visit:

www.myauthenticself.com

or e-mail anamcara@comcast.net

Telephone: 941 924-4756
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Editors note:

We are honored to have Jay and Wendy's participation and contributions to Pathfinders and look forward to learning of the ways our readers have benefited from their articles and guidance.
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