The Natural Medicine & Inner Blocks Challenge has brought me into processing an edge I wasn't (consciously) aware of. I'm nowhere near done with it, but at least I'm on the boil.
Photo by Hubert Neufeld on Unsplash
Give me something more that I can hold
Pull me back in from the cold, yeah
When I read the announcemount post about the NM/Innerblocks challenge, I knew what I was going to write about.
One of the potentials I could see for the Natural Medicine platform and for the use of LOTUS is a smart-currency method of paying for the services of natural medicine practitioners: health coaches, psychotherapists, nutritionists, herbalists, permaculture consultants, Fengshui practitioners, and so on.
When I was practicing Chinese Medicine full-time, I accepted payments in BTC, ETH, and STEEM. I only had one patient who paid me in BTC, as most of my client-base was not in that world (mostly middle-aged, middle-class, white women). So I see the viability of using a token such as LOTUS as completely possible within the wider Steem ecosystem. We just need the development of apps to easily allow exchange and payments.
Being a fully qualified — albeit retired — natural medicine therapist, I knew that I would have to at some point practice what I preach, and lead by example. I’d have to step out of retirement and offer my experience and expertise in exchange for LOTUS.
.... Aaaaand, there it was!
Bang! Big, huge fucking block.
Even as @riverflows was encouraging me on, I could feel the resistance. I knew I would need to go into a process to understand what was happening here. I conveniently avoided this, until [this challenge] popped up, and @riverflows urged me to write something. I decided that even if I didn’t get to post something in the 2-week period of the challenge, I knew I’d need to stop avoiding this block, and get onto it.
I need you to inspire me
When I can't inspire myself
I need you to provide for me
When I feel like someone else
— Lady Gaga
The outcome is not so important to me. I’m not looking to ‘fix’ this, and push on ahead with a pre-determined decision. The usual approach is to see the ‘problem’ as the outcome which needs changing, and then using some kind of therapy to ‘get my thinking right’.
Processwork is different. Developed by [Arnold Mindel], it has its basis in Jungian psychotherapy, Quantum physics, Taoism, and Neuro-linguistics. It presupposes that any ‘block’ (even physiological signs) is some kind of signal from the Unconscious Mind to the Conscious Mind; in other words, it’s a message.
Thus, the outcome is not as important as the process, and it is always better to enter into a process with an ‘empty’ and curious mind, without any previous understandings or intellectual explanations of meanings or interpretations.
It also presupposes that the Mind is the whole body and all its inter-related systems. This is why physiological symptoms are interpreted as signals from the Unconscious Mind. It is not believed that these processes will magically heal the physical body, but it will help our consciousness from understanding the relationship we have the symptom, and how we end up dealing with it or adapting to its presence. It is particularly useful with pain management however, given the neurological basis for much of how we experience pain.
What is this signal? What does this sensation in my body want to tell me? How do I relate to this feeling inside my body?
These are examples of the kind of questions we ask when we engage in a process.
These signals are letting our Conscious selves know that we approaching an ‘edge’. In this framework, what new-agers call ‘blocks’ are referred to as ‘edges’. Just like the concept of edges in ecology, it is a place between what is called the Primary [1°] Process (Conscious reality) and the Secondary [2°] Process (Dream reality). Sometimes we can cross these edges easily, other times not so much; sometimes we don’t even want to go near the edge, and maybe even recoil or stay away from them altogether.
In being asked (again and again) to step into the Healer’s role I’d found an uncomfortable edge that I was deliberately avoiding. And so, here I now am.
Strange is your language and I have no decoder
Why don't you make your intentions clear
— Peter Gabriel
The thin ice of the new day
Based on my training, I knew my first step was to drop into a truly embodied state and sense if there was any physiological reaction to the thought of offering my service again. Indeed there was: I felt my whole body freeze, with a particular tightening in my abdomen.
So I began to ‘have a conversation’ with this sensation, assuming it had its own consciousness and identity. Sometimes I’ve found this process works, but it didn’t this time. It was non-verbal; if anything the sensation increased.
I knew I could have used some 内功 Nèigōng breath techniques to alchemically transform the sensation; however I was interested in discovering what this signal was about, not ignoring it and changing it.
I also realised this was a particularly deep edge, and I would need some help with this. Processwork is easy enough to to facilitate your own therapy once you're trained in the fundamentals; but there are times when we need the assistance and guidance of someone outside of us (objective) to guide, facilitate, poke, prod, and ask difficult, challenging questions.
So this is where I find myself now, mid-process. There was no way I was going to finish this process in time to be able to tie it up with neat ribbons in time for posting in response to the challenge; but the challenge was enough of an impetus to stop avoiding the edge and begin the process.
Because I've entered into the field of this process, other things arise around me that aid and prompt me forward. My journeying with the I Ching is playing its part, with the hexagram I am working with this week — ䷺渙 HUÀN — giving me some insights on how to disperse the frozen, blocked feeling within me, whilst still maintaining integrity and wholeness.
I guess I'll keep y'all in the loop with how this unfolds over the next period of time.
What have I got
That makes you want to love me
Now is it my body
Or someone I might be
Or somethin' inside me
— Alice Cooper
Listen to the soundtrack here
This article is proudly published on Natural Medicine.