Spiritual Healing in Seven Steps
Our Spiritual Nature
What a beautiful, warm, and balmy day in Cave Junction, Oregon during this early week in December. I feel the energy that is projected from the mountains and the splendor of nature that is all around me. It’s a good time to talk about healing.
For those of you who don’t know much about my early background, I grew up with New Thought beliefs first in Christian Science as a young boy, and then in the Unity Church for the last 40 years. According to Wikipedia, the three most popular New Thought Religions (Religious Science, Divine Science, and the Unity Church), hold these spiritual values in common:
- “Infinite Intelligence or God is omnipotent and omnipresent.
- Spirit is the ultimate reality.
- True human self-hood is divine.
- Divinely attuned thought is a positive force for good.
- All disease is mental in origin.
- Right thinking has a healing effect.”
What I am about to share with you is a mixture of these positive ideas and my own spin on New Thought. Of course, please keep in mind that you are completely free to reject everything I am about to say about healing, positive change, or personal growth and development. This is a basic tenet of Unity: “We are all free to find our connection to the Divine according to our own understanding.” As far as I’m concerned, you are even free to renounce any form of religion including my approach to New Thought spirituality.
My definition of healing will include anything good that happens in your life as a result of applying the seven steps that I will discuss in this paper. Keep in mind that New Thought religions suffer from something I call practitioner guilt; i.e., you feel bad and defeated when you try to apply New Thought concepts to physical or emotional problems that still persist, despite all your best “mental” treatments. So to avoid this pitfall, simply look for something positive to come out of my healing approach. If nothing “good” happens, then of course you need to keep searching for something else that will help you cope with the many random acts of pain, suffering, and uncertainty that occur as a result of being alive in this material world.
There is a very wise and old saying: “The proof is in the pudding!” Here are my seven steps: breathe; claim; visualize; focus; affirm; surrender; listen. I recommend that you at least try this “treatment system” three times a day for the next 30 days. Keep an open mind and see what happens. You can always cook a different “pudding” if necessary.
Last but not least, I also embrace these underlining assumptions which form the implied foundation to my approach: (a. The power of belief sometimes called the placebo effect is a scientific and useful concept when applied to overcoming any personal or physical problem. (b. The central nervous system communicates with all our vital organs. (c. We can access our CNS and physical body functions via the subconscious mind. (d. Near death experiences give us an accurate look into spiritual life and consciousness that transcends material laws. (e . You can be an atheist and agnostic and still benefit from my healing system. (f. Improvisation and creativity are examples of our unlimited potential to experience a better life today. (g. Bad things do happen in this world; I don’t think our life on this planet is an illusion. (h. I do think we have the innate capacity to discover and apply infinite solutions to overcome any problem, be it physical, emotional, mental, financial, social, or spiritual.
The Keys are Inside of Us
The Seven Steps
Step #1. Breathe: I believe that breathing deeply is one of the most important things we can do to start a healing process. It is also self-evident that any form of exercise is a healthy and life sustaining activity.
Therefore, consider trying the following approach: Using exercise, yoga, tai chi, or the “Secrets of Natural Walking” simply breathe in deeply and hold your breath for three seconds; then slowly exhale for eight. Repeat this process several times and then return to your normal breathing. By the way, the word yoga doesn’t just mean various forms of stretching. It refers to finding the balance between mind, body, heart, and soul. Finding your “balance” is the key spiritual concept here.
I also find it useful to recite an affirmation or positive belief along with the breathing; such as, I am breathing in the Light of the Holy Spirit everywhere present; and I am breathing out all that is negative, stressful, irritating, or uncomfortable. Feel free to use your own favorite positive statements.
If you don’t consider yourself to be a spiritual person, simply focus on the breathing, allowing yourself to smile and glow. Smiling and laughter activate positive energy and powerful chemicals all through your body.
Step #2. Claim: Now place your hand on over your heart---the heart center as some like to call it. Much has been said about the power of positive thinking over the years. Consequently, it is unnecessary for me the repeat this information here.
I enjoy using I AM statements to assert with authority my spiritual identity. For example: I AM Light; I AM limitless abundance; I AM peace; I AM a perfect expression of God’s Love. I AM infinite Soul. I AM radiant health, love, happiness, beauty, joy, and wisdom. I AM experiencing magnificence! (Magnificence is defined as getting in touch with your divine nature---all that is perfect, infinite, beautiful, happy, joyful, and wise.)
If you are uncomfortable with asserting a spiritual identity, just use statements like I AM hopeful today; I AM open to having a better a life. I AM choosing to put love-in-action right now, etc.
Step #3. Visualize: Psychologists know that the conscious mind utilizes words and the unconscious mind communicates with pictures. I suggest you visualize mighty rays of light shining from your “heart center” like a brilliant and blazing sun. Let yourself relax. Repeat over and over: All is well; all is well. Simply enjoy the majesty, glory, and dazzle of the Light.
For those of you who prefer non-spiritual language in this step, sport psychologists have long realized the advantages of visualization and mental rehearsal. Furthermore, medical science is well acquainted with the power and effectiveness of “visual imagery” to enhance our immune systems.
Step #4. Focus: Now with the aid of your imagination and the sensation of heat from your hand over your heart center, extend this Light (energy or “chi”) to surround the problem inside of you or outside of you. For example, cover with Light an organ inside your body that is exhibiting a symptom of disease, or see a negative person/personal challenge in your life completely immersed in the Light.
If you doubt the veracity of these spiritual ideas, remember that focusing on one problem at a time is a very wise psychological principle. Also, a new form of nursing is growing around the “healing power of touch.” And of course, much has been written about the ancient healing art of Reiki.
Step #5. Affirm: This is where you get to be creative and innovative. Find some beautiful and uplifting thoughts to repeat over and over. You can use statements from the Bible, or lyrics from music you love, or poetry, quotes from self-help books, or any words which can motivate inspire, and lift you up.
Here are some that I use: I see that the Light brings warmth, heat, and healing power. I see that the Light brings comfort, peace, abundant living, and absolute, radiant love. I see the Light brings the Truth that sets me free; I manifest my perfect and infinite spiritual Self right now today. I AM in a state of magnificence!
Remember, you are absolutely free to use non-spiritual terms like “I have unconditional worth and value; I refuse to engage in any behavior that is harmful to myself or others; I claim my right to have a better life today; I walk in the light of powerful and effective knowledge.”
Let’s pause here for a little sidebar comment to those who have a difficult time accepting the spiritual. Consider doing some research about positive thinking. Start investigating evidence from near death experiences. If you are not religious or spiritual, simply try using Anita’s Moorjani’s insights as suggested in her book “Dying to be Me.” She advocates using the following affirmation from her near death experience, which contributed to her healing from end stage cancer in 2006: “The only universal solution I have is to love yourself unconditionally (all parts…physical, mental, emotional, and the exceptional), and be yourself fearlessly.”
Step #6. Surrender: Yes it is important to let go of all that appears negative. I suggest we surrender by the power of Self love. Early New Thought leaders called this process utilizing “denials.” In other words, there is much wisdom in the concept, “Let go and Let God.”
If you prefer a more psychological explanation of surrender, you could call this step “forgiveness work.” Those of you who are familiar with 12 Step support groups might relate more to releasing past resentments, and embracing positive qualities about yourself.
For me, I use the following process: I love You, my Soul Self, Higher Self, Christ Self, God Self, however you choose to name the divine spark within you. I love You with all my mind, heart, and strength. (Might this be the possible essence of the Way Shower’s new commandment?)
I surrender my physical mind and body to You. I AM grateful for all the Good in my life today. Whatever appears to be negative and is causing me suffering, does not define who I AM. I feel connected to Divine Source. I AM experiencing positive energy, light, and love right now. I AM Being in a state of complete Magnificence (staying in touch with my Infinite, and Perfect spiritual Self.)
In non-religious terms, “Even though I am having some stress today, I totally and completely love and appreciate myself. I release all that is stressful to the Universe.”
#7. Listen: Some call this last step, listening to the Inner Voice of Spirit. Others describe this process as meditation or going into the silence. One could utilize a whole variety of similar skills to quiet the mind. For me, I simply let go of the problem that I have been working on. I visualize a powerful and happy environmental scene like an ocean beach; and I repeat over and over: I AM One with all that is Divine; I AM connected to all that is Good; and I remain open to letting Good flow in my life today. Then I suspend all thoughts as I enter the silence to enjoy and listen.
If you happen to be uncomfortable with this spiritual imagery, what I am describing is very close to the well known and documented psychological technique called the “relaxation response.”
Again feel free to change the words, the affirmations, and the visualizations according to your own belief system. The important part is to wait expectantly without obsessive thoughts in the silence. Watch, wait, and feel what ideas appear in your mind’s eye to put love-in-action today. Continue to smile and return to breathing deeply as indicated in Step 1.
In Conclusion: We have reviewed seven steps that can give us techniques for changing the quality of our life. It’s been said that the number seven implies the power of completeness and wholeness, as indicated in the Bible where God created physical reality in seven days.
Material problems and challenges might persist. But you will always be free to utilize the subconscious mind or your spiritual nature to lead you into a new path of healthier living. Remember to breathe, claim, visualize, focus, affirm, surrender, and listen. Try to let go of anxiety, resentments, guilt, doubts, and fears. Enter that state of being at complete peace in the silence.
One final, old but very cogent New Thought principle: “Whatever you think, say, and feel…you might experience.” Are you ready to make some positive choices today? Our bodies were created with vast healing powers; this is a scientific fact. Quantum physics is making new discoveries almost daily about our true and infinite capacities.
Just for today we need to practice unifying our physical self with our spiritual essence, or connect our self with those unlimited positive capacities which live deep within our CNS and subconscious mind. Then allow this alignment to open the doorway to your Magnificence!
Breathe; Claim; Visualize; Focus; Affirm; Surrender; Listen
- Meditation: Magnificence
This meditation is designed to help us connect with pure consciousness--magnificence: where we get in touch with our real Self that is perfect, infinite, beautiful, and joyous.