The Layers of Self: Techniques in Mind-Body Healing

Photo by Pixabay on

Even if you are not a handy-person or a mechanic, if you have a loose handle, you can easily fix it with a screwdriver. If you have a leaky pipe, you might be able to fix it with a wrench and some caulk. However, if your car stops working, it does not matter how many fancy tools you have in your garage, if you are not a mechanic, you are not going to be able to fix that car.

What’s the missing element? What’s the key to fixing anything? The knowledge in how to correctly use the tools you have is what produces the results you desire. The same holds true for healing our mind-body connection. We have a plethora of readily available tools, i.e. books, classes, workshops, mind-body techniques like acupuncture and massage, meditation, church services, counselors, and best friends, just to name a few. Knowing how to apply these tools is what helps us to achieve the level of healing that we all desire and deserve. We can attend all the healing classes and read all the self-help books in world, but without conscious application of the techniques, we are just collecting tools. How do we begin the task of consciously applying the techniques offered by all of these incredible tools? By choosing to look within!

Remember, healing comes from within and we are responsible for the direction of our lives.All the tools in the world cannot heal us if we are not willing to do the work. This article will help you become aware of how our thoughts are the catalyst for a healthy mind-body connection. It will give examples of how negative self-talk and a negative outlook on life can hinder our healing. By becoming aware of how we view ourselves and the world around us, then making simple yet powerful corrections, we can begin to live happier and healthier lives.

Regardless of the nature of an issue or its source, all issues have layers like an onion and each issue is a separate onion. The core of the issue is the most important part and usually the most challenging to get to and the most painful to relive. You MUST be ready and be brave enough to confront your issues—over and over again, peeling away at each of the layers. Here are some universal techniques that you can apply to heal the various layers within your own issues. This shift in thinking can and should be used throughout all stages of healing and in conjunction with the external tools.

In healing our mind-body connection, it is important to pay attention to the words that we speak and the thoughts we think, especially about ourselves. Do you belittle yourself, constantly tell yourself that you cannot do something, or tell yourself that you are not good enough? Do you say things to yourself or about yourself that you would never say to your kids or your best friend?  If a friend spoke to you the way you speak to yourself, would he or she still be your friend?

If you answered yes to any of these questions, even if it’s just occasionally, cancel-clear those self-limiting thoughts immediately, and without (further) judgment, replace the thoughts with positive, affirming, and loving thoughts. One of the keys to happiness and healing is self-love. Be aware of your thoughts and ask yourself “does this reflect self-love or self-loathing?”

For example, Jo believes she looks like she is having a seizure when she dances, even though she loves doing it. This self-criticism prevented her from going out dancing with her friends. One night her friends finally convinced her to go out and she received several compliments from strangers about her dancing style. Now every time she dances in public she becomes a little more confident. She is now aware that her unhealthy self-talk prevented her from having fun with friends, getting exercise, and meeting new people. She has replaced her old belief with “I am dancing because it feels good to me.”

Just as important as the words we speak about ourselves are the words we put out into the Universe. How many times have you started a sentence with “this is going to be hard,” “this is going to suck” or “I hate this”? Regardless of your spiritual beliefs, the Universe is designed to give us what we ask for and what we expect. If you expect a task to be difficult, aren’t you setting the stage for it to be that way? Unfortunately, yes. For example, Ann was taking the steps in finding a new home for the family dog that exhibited destructive behavior and was disobedient. Ann’s primary concern, however, was how her daughter was going to react to the news. Her unconscious yet verbal expectation was that the situation would be difficult and her daughter’s heart would be broken. Once she became aware of her words and the instructions she was giving the Universe, she cancel-cleared it and re-evaluated her way of thinking about the situation. The end result is that the dog remained in her home and everyone was happy. So let’s consciously expect the best out of ourselves, situations, other people, and life!

The power of our word also relates to the food we eat. Do you realize the negativity you put into your food if you say or think “this is going to make me fat” or “this isn’t good for me” then eat it anyway? You are putting out into the Universe what you expect to happen when that food enters your body. Give yourself permission to eat that double chocolate chunk cookie, but instead of cursing it and punishing yourself with “oh, this is so bad for me, I’m going to gain 10 pounds” say “I give myself permission to enjoy the sweetness of this cookie. I give myself permission to eat this simply for the pleasure of tasting it.”

Another powerful healing tool is to cancel-clear complaints. Complaining about things that we cannot change is pointless and a waste of our energy. Is complaining about how someone else is living his/her life improving yours?  No, it’s a distraction from your own life and healing. Is complaining about the weather going to change it? No, you are giving it power and priority by putting your attention on it and feeling like a victim to it, which distracts from your joy.

When we complain about our life, in essence we are telling the Universe that we do not appreciate what we have. When we are grateful for what we have, we become more aware of and open to the tremendous gifts we’ve already received and as a result, attracting more simply through the resonance of that energy of gratitude. For example, a responsible parent would not continue to buy gifts for an ungrateful child. So why would the Universe continue to bless us when we do not appreciate the gifts we have been given?

Complaining is also a direct reflection of desperation, discomfort, and/or impatience with a specific situation or with life in general. Desperation, discomfort and impatience usually occur when we are focused on the past, the future, or what we do not have. This thought pattern leads to stress, fear, and anxiety. 

There are so many reasons people complain and so many things we complain about. Become aware of your triggers and evaluate the reason for the discomfort. Do you need to speak your truth and say no to something expected of you but not important to you? Are you being stretched outside of your comfort zone and/or needing to face a fear? Or do you just need to relax and take care of your responsibilities with gratitude?

Relax into your life as if you are floating in a warm bath. Take life as it comes, one day at a time, one hour at a time. Live in and appreciate the present moment. Realize that complaining is stealing energy from your joy and preventing you from receiving the gift of being fully in your present moment.

One of the most powerful methods of healing is forgiveness, which encompasses a shift in self-talk, the elimination of complaints, and the elimination of identifying yourself as a victim to others, to circumstances, and even to yourself. Forgiveness frees us from the bonds of our thoughts, the past and the pain associated with both.

“Through forgiveness, we create new realities that allow us to experience greater love and freedom. Forgiveness sets the stage for a new act in our lives to begin. Holding on to judgments about experiences and people keeps us in limitation.” –Iyanla Vanzant.

Forgive for your own well-being. You have control over your thoughts, beliefs, and emotions. So when we realize the power of our thoughts and consciously shift our thinking from self-limiting ones to self-empowering ones, the healing is escalated. Whatever stage of healing path you are on, remember to be gentle, kind, and loving with yourself. Practice forgiveness for yourself and for others. As you do this inner work, working your way through your issues, layer by layer, you’ll find that you are blossoming in your life and in your world much more fully and freely. As you practice more gratitude for the generous gifts that you have already in your life, more gifts become clear to you. You may even find gifts in the presence of your issues, which are there as invitations to discover deeper, richer parts of yourself.  As your awareness and gratitude increases, you’ll discover that the complaints will decrease. You will experience a tremendous sense of freedom and joy in your life as you watch your life change for the better. Enjoy the process of discovering and releasing your layers!

“No man is happy who does not think himself so.” –Publilius Syrus

By Beverly Bates

Originally published March 2014, updated Feb 2021

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s