A few months prior to coming to therapy, one of my clients, Jasmine had a conversation with a colleague at work about how she felt lost, and at the same time convinced that there was something ‘bigger’ out there. Her colleague, having previously entertained the idea of consciousness in his personal life, told her that perhaps she needed to look deeper within to find some answers.
Over the next couple of months, Jasmine continued to think about the conversation and eventually when things in her personal life became harder to handle, she decided to contact me. Jasmine was tired of observing the same repetitive pattern that life would manifest for her. She realised that deep down she believed herself to be a victim and felt that she had always had issues with female relationships in her life.
This time, Jasmine was having an issue with one of her friends, Kate - whom she felt was mistreating her. Not an overly social person, Jasmine was afraid of losing the small group of friends that she had. She also felt sad at the fact that she had not been in a romantic relationship with someone in over five years.
Therapy helped Jasmine to work through these issues. Over time she started to speak her truth with Kate, and also explore her own authenticity, and she found that life began to open its doors for her. Within weeks of expressing herself and working on becoming more authentic, Jasmine realised that her relationships were beginning to change for the better and Kate was no longer contacting her. Not only that, shortly afterwards she met a wonderful man who cared and nurtured her in the right way and for the first time in years, Jasmine felt a sense of inner contentment.
A few months after experiencing improved relationships, I received a phone call from her. She explained that she had recently experienced the most beautiful overwhelming feeling of compassion for her best friend Kate whilst driving. She said that this experience had taken her by surprise because firstly, she hadn’t thought about Kate in some time, and secondly, although she no longer viewed herself as a victim, Jasmine wasn’t yet in a place where she had compassion for Kate either.
However, after experiencing that overwhelming feeling in the car that day, Jasmine said she felt as if her heart was beginning to heal. She also shared that it wasn’t an experience that she could put into words, only that the healing went beyond the mind.
Retrospectively looking at her healing, Jasmine said that she couldn’t quite put her finger on how and why she had healed, but she did recognise a few things about the change. Although she had no prior knowledge about it, she said that when we explored the topic of consciousness, there was something familiar about our discussions. In other words, she knew deep down that she was part of something grander, that life wasn’t just about her physical body and her mind. Equipped with this knowledge, she felt that she had to break the pattern of making poor relationship choices and that she had to start taking steps, that although she found painful, knew were in her best interest – she had to stop playing the victim. Also, exploring consciousness made her realise that she couldn’t control all of life’s circumstances and that ultimately she had to develop a trust in life - that if she took the most positive steps, life would certainly reciprocate.
Jasmine had to learn to connect to her authenticity and this did not reside in her conscious mind. She had to go beyond the conscious mind to connect with her deeper self. Exploring consciousness meant that she entertained the concept of the soul and what this meant for her. She had to learn to listen to her heart, and although it wasn’t always what she wanted to hear, she knew that it was the truth.
One of the most important observations that Jasmine made was that her healing wasn’t a linear A-B-C process. She felt (like so many others who have walked the path of deep healing), that first she understood intellectually the idea of the soul and consciousness, and although deep down it felt true to her, she said that the healing didn’t occur until she was able to internalise the concept. Her healing came about when her feelings changed, but yet she couldn’t quite describe how this had happened – only that it had taken time and had felt as if her heart had opened up. This is not something that she could have achieved with her mind alone.
For most people, emotional healing is an on-going process and occurs gradually over time. We go through a process of recognising and removing layers of programming and false beliefs that have built up over the years. Over the years I have observed two main types of healing that takes place: specific healing and deeper healing.
Specific healing is a healing that occurs in response to a specific issue, for example, binge eating disorder. It is possible to heal binge eating disorder using a range of different techniques and healing modalities. But, it is important to realise that although the person may have managed or healed the binge eating disorder, they may not have undergone a deep shift in perception.
The second type of healing is a deeper healing. This is when a person has a deep shift in perception and sees the world differently. This type of healing may occur gradually or instantaneously, and (in some cases), people find it difficult to integrate back into daily life again. Deeper healing produces a shift in the very core of a person, and it can occur at anytime.
It is also possible for a person to experience this deeper healing and yet still struggle with specific healing issues. In fact I believe this happened to me. I started to experience a deeper healing whilst I was still struggling with binge eating disorder. I required a different set of skills to heal that particular issue.
This can also manifest in reverse as well, where sometimes I work with people who heal their specific issues, but yet choose to continue coming in for a session occasionally because they feel a deeper healing taking place. Through a combination of specific and deeper healing, the ‘whole’ (mind, body and spirit), of an individual is addressed. I believe that many experience a change in perception eventually, and at some point they start to question the deeper purpose of life.
We can feel that a change has taken place as our hearts begin to heal and when we begin to recognise who we really are. It happens as we start to correct our perceptions about ourselves, others, and the environment around us. We know that a healing is occurring when love, compassion, kindness and unity begin to fill our hearts. We are able to view life’s challenges through a fresh perspective as we begin to experience a greater level of inner peace.
The journey to healing is unique to every individual. There are many different routes that people can take. Some of the people that I have worked with have experienced the onset of healing through their religion, whereas for others the process has started though therapy or entertaining the notion that they are a soul. There are also people for whom the transformation has started because they have connected with something that someone has said, or through a movie that they have watched, or even through witnessing great suffering first hand.
A Course in Miracles states that psychotherapy and religion are both experiences, and at their highest levels they become one. Neither of them is the truth, but both of them can lead to the truth. They are paths – avenues for the conscious mind to take that will stimulate the mysterious process of a deeper healing.
People often question why they experience emotional suffering and they ask why life presents them with challenging circumstances. I tell them that it is these challenging circumstances that give us the opportunity to grow as individuals. When life forces us into a corner, we have no option other than to change our perception and learn more about ourselves. We may also find ourselves becoming more compassionate towards other people who experience similar obstacles.
If on the other hand, we choose not to change, we will continue to face similar challenges throughout life. For some of us emotional suffering is necessary so that we can rise to fulfil our life’s calling. I have had to do a tremendous amount of work on myself to be able to work with others, so for me my darkest times eventually became my greatest gift.
Emotional healing is a combination of intention and allowing. Over the years I have made an interesting observation about the healing process: there is only a certain amount of healing that we can do ourselves through our conscious mind; the rest of the healing happens via the Transcendent Mind and is an unconscious process. The desire to heal quite often stems from the mind, but the healing itself takes place at a deeper level, and it is not a process that we can force.
The Transcendent Mind is the energy within us that is already healed. Throughout the ages people have used different terms to refer to this energy: Holy Spirit, Paramatman; the God within us; Love. This is a different state to the conscious mind. The conscious mind operates from a limited state. It worries and tries to control situations, and looks for solutions to problems. It tries to bring about a healing change through thought alone, but most often our deep-rooted feelings surface, making the change difficult. Conventional therapy works with the conscious mind.
The Transcendent Mind however, operates from an enlightened state, and is often subtle in the way in which it works. Our task is to use our conscious minds to initiate and open up to the healing that the Transcendent Mind offers. Our job is to relax and call upon the Transcendent Mind to continue the healing, and through this process we intend to experience the truth of who we really are. We do not know in our ordinary, limited conscious state when this healing will occur and neither can we predict the process of the method through which it will come about.
Emotional healing takes place when love fills our heart, and although we can take practical steps (such as learning behaviour modification techniques) to initiate the healing process, this does not necessarily fill our heart with love. Behaviour modification techniques take place in our mind, and the deeper healing takes place in every cell of our body.
For most people, emotional healing takes time and can often be a process of taking two steps forward followed by one step backwards. The change is gradual - but also apparent when one looks back after a period of time. Frequent challenges will still occur, but eventually our way of dealing with them changes.
©2015 by Sunita Pattani.
Published by J Publishing Company Ltd.
The Transcendent Mind: The Missing Peace in Emotional Wellbeing
by Sunita Pattani.
Sunita Pattani is a Psychotherapist and Author based in East London, who specializes in exploring the link between mind, body, spirit and emotional healing. Since childhood she has been fascinated with science, spirituality, consciousness and the deeper question of who we really are. Sunita is a graduate of the University of Birmingham, where she obtained a degree in Mathematics, Science and Education in 2003. She taught for five years before she returned to college to study an advanced diploma in Hypnotherapy and Psychotherapeutic Counselling. Alongside running her Psychotherapy Practice, she shares her message through a combination of speaking, running workshops and writing. A regular blogger for Huffington Post, Sunita’s first book, My Secret Affair with Chocolate Cake – The Emotional Eater’s Guide to Breaking Free was published in 2012.
Listen to an interview with Sunita: Hits Dhanak Interviews Sunita Pattani