Self-healing: I don’t want to be in pain anymore

So this morning I got up and gave myself a rebirthing session. I couldn’t do otherwise. This pain on my left shoulder has been there since end of Christmas holidays. At the beginning of this week I woke up and my body felt paralysed. I couldn’t move. Another pain which arose on my chest was hurting me. This pain was strongly connected to the pain on my left shoulder.

I thought of a yin yoga pose and put a cushion under my back. In this pose I started doing the conscious connected breathing. The pain on my chest moved downwards to my belly. It felt like cramps, but not from the inside out (from my stomach), but more like just under my skin. I’ve cried a couple of times. Afterwards I removed the cushion and took my time to let the pain melt down. I knew it wasn’t over, I knew I hadn’t achieved my goal. This was merely to get myself going again. Getting up, being able to work and parent.

On the same day I felt at ease with my body, but the next day I woke up with a clouded mind. I knew this was inflicted by the emotional pain which hid in my body. This pain would surface as physical pain as soon as I would have the time to help myself with a rebirthing session.

The days after the pain on my left shoulder had spread to the right side and I also felt it moving downwards over my back and to my left arm. For a couple of days now I thought about asking my friend who works as an osteopath to give me a treatment. It would definitely get the energy in my body moving. But thinking about the upcoming work week I didn’t see time to recover from the treatment. This and also the current amount of pain I was in motivated me to help myself as soon as possible.

I was about to last evening, but taking my youngest to bed I fell asleep. Probably I was super tired, because of having walked around with these pains.

After more than 12 hours of sleep I have been doing the conscious connected breathing for 40 minutes on the couch. During these 40 minutes I discovered a new position which stimulated the pain on my chest to move away from the chest. The position was derived from a yin yoga position I knew. I folded by chest towards my legs which were straightened with a tiny bend in my knees. My arms laid next to my hips and legs on the couch. So the pain on my chest started moving with every in- and out breath I took and space was created in and around the pain on my left shoulder.

While going through this pain I felt and thought the following:

  • It hurts, I don’t want to be in so much pain anymore
  • I have work to do, you ( the pain) will not keep me from my work
  • I wish I could have known my great grandfather who lived in China. The whole village went by his house to be relieved from physical pain caused by severe heat
  • I was (again!) cursing in the dialect I grew up with (Wenzhouhua). To me this means I was freeing myself from the sadness of my mother and grandmother

I will continue my self-healing work at some other point. Now Saturday begins and I have like 30 minutes left to continue with the preparation of my third FB Live on HSP & Love.

Would you like to read more on rebirthing? Click here…

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Vipassana: Brainsurgery without anaesthetics

About four months ago I completed a 10-Day Vipassana course at the Dhamma Medini Meditation Centre, just north of Auckland in New Zealand.  I am not sure if and how much I should share with you about the course by writing this article. However, I read a lot of Vipassana reviews and stories myself and still had a completely different experience than I was expecting.  Haha, so it probably does not really matter what I write as you would probably interpret everything based on your own life experience anyway. Moreover, the beauty of the whole experience stood out for me and it really touched my heart. Therefore I could not just leave things unspoken and I hope that my story and information inspires you to go out there and see for yourself.

What is Vipassana?

That is 10 days of meditation in the meditation hall or in your private room. Wake up bell is at 4 am and the last meditation session ends at 9 pm. Breakfast, lunch and afternoon tea are provided and there is some time to rest or have a walk on the property. However, exercise in any form is not allowed. The food is completely vegetarian as no (involvement in) killing of any being is allowed. Other rules to keep the mind free from impurities are to abstain from stealing, from telling lies, from all sexual activity and from all intoxicants.

To help with these rules men and women are separated and you spend the days maintaining noble silence. That means no physical, verbal or even eye-contact with fellow meditators and servers. The only human contact you have is with the teacher during question and answer periods twice a day.  Before starting the course you have to commit to fulfilling the complete 10 days. Sounds awesome right!? I mean, who does not want to commit to an isolated 10 day meditation prison.

And what is the idea behind all this? 

In the end the goal is to become a Buddha or in other words to become ‘awake’ or to reach ‘enlightenment’.  This Dhamma, the way to liberation, was first taught by Gautama the Buddha and eventually by Mr. Goenka who spread the teachings around the world. Although Buddhists based their religion on the teachings of Gautama, it doesn’t mean that you will have to become a Buddhist to practice this technique. Gautama never intended to create a following of people separate or “more developed” than the rest of humanity. The technique he taught is universal and thus transcends all religions, sects, races, sexuality and so on.

Vipassana literally means to see things as the really are.  The theory is very simple and scientific. It all starts and ends with anicca, the universal law of nature. This law states that all things are impermanent and constantly changing. Instead of just accepting this, we tend to hold on to pleasant things and run away from unpleasant things. Through this process we create our own suffering; we crave for things we do not have and feel averted towards things we do not want to have. This reaction pattern is so deeply rooted into our minds and to change it we have to work deep within ourselves. Therefore Vipassana works at the experiential level, the level of body sensations.

The course is split into two parts. During the first 3 days of the course you work with Anapana meditation. Anapana is simply directing your attention towards the natural rhythm of your breath and the accompanying sensations. This practice has a couple of benefits and lessons for us. Since the breath is controlled by voluntary and as well as involuntary processes it functions as bridge between consciousness and unconsciousness.

Becoming conscious of an unconscious process helps you to become more aware of what is actually going on for you and your body in the present moment. You become aware of more and more subtle body sensations and of the mind-body connection.

That is, by observing the natural rhythm of the breath you realize how it is affected by impurities of the mind such as lust, fear, anger, envy or greed. Also, by trying to focus the attention on the breath you start realizing the tendency of the mind to pull you into the past or future. In short, Anapana trains the mind to be calmer and more focussed on the present reality so you can adequately practice Vipassana.

Vipassana is the real deal and it starts on the 4th day of the course. Vipassana can be seen as a very thorough and analytical study of the body. With a calm and concentrated mind you start scanning the body from top to toe and from toe to top. While scanning, the goal is to remain equanimeous. That is, observing what is without generating feelings of craving and aversion. If one manages to remain completely equanimeous while observing body sensations, no more feelings of craving of aversion are being generated.

In other words, no more conditioned responses (called saṅkhāras) are being created or reinforced. Moreover, remaining equanimeous actually provides the opportunity for old saṅkhāras dissolve. These are felt in the body as gross sensations, for example as painful, numb or throbbing sensations. Conclusively, Vipassana meditation is about developing your equanimity to dissolve all (even past-life) conditioned responses and eventually live a life free of suffering. By relieving one’s suffering, one notices that deep feelings of gratitude, love and compassion towards all of life arise naturally.

My experience.

Overall, the 10-day course was one of the most beautiful, insightful and healing things I have done in my life so far. It was also a challenge and there were times that I felt quite horrible and really dreaded the coming meditation sessions. However, in my journey, I have realised that healing and personal growth is never completely comfortable. Taking steps towards a more fulfilled, joyful and peaceful life is often quite scary and/or painful. In the Vipassana course, it was especially the physical pain that stood out for me as it was unlike anything I had ever experienced before.  On the other side the course did leave me with a more calm, present and positive mind and I can honestly say that the pain was well worth the gain. Therefore I titled this article: Vipassana: Brainsurgery without anaesthetics.

My biggest insight/transformation was regarding my aversion to pain. When we started the Vipassana meditation, I experienced an intense pain in my lower back. In spite of the pain, I managed to sit through the first three determinations sessions. In these sessions you try to meditate for one hour straight without changing your posture. Although I barely moved, the pain did not dissolve and it actually got worse.

I started experiencing feelings of despair and failure: No matter how hard I try, this backpain of mine just won’t budge.

Then, a sudden realization came to me: This is me, working hard and yielding nothing but disappointment and it is happening everywhere in my life; from striving to impress my dad so he would come back to be with me to trying anything and everything to cure my nasal polyps. However, all without result… A short mental conversation followed:

” So I guess I will just have to observe the pain, is that right?”
” Yeah man, just watch the pain, sit with it instead of through it.”
” Ah, I really do not want to.”
” Why?”
” Because it really hurts.”

Man, I cried my pants off. How obvious it became how I just never truly accepted my father not being there. How I never accepted my nasal polyp being there. I absolutely hated the pain. Absolutely hated how sad it made me feel. I had made the connection intellectually before but at that moment I was able to really sit with it. I was able to really watch the sadness for what it was, at the experiential level of body sensations. Since I was finally just observing, I gave the opportunity for the pain to dissolve. Now, I can’t say (yet) that I am completely free of suffering but I am fighting pain and hurt less thereby enabling myself to better observe, let go and move on. I even feel as if my nasal polyps are clearing up hooray. I shouldn’t get to excited though…Stay equanimeous.

This correspondence of patterns at the sensational, physical/health and social levels reminded me of a documentary called inner worlds and outer worlds (http://www.innerworldsmovie.com), where they explain that the smallest particle contains the complete pattern of the whole. For example, the same pattern might occur in the very cells and atoms of my body. And on the other side, I might actually be a dysfunctional cell of a massive organ that we call the Milkyway. To me this shows how important it is to make changes within as we actually influence everything around us. As a person who was always quite focussed on helping and wanting to change other people that was quite a relief. It created more responsibility for my own thoughts and feelings and gave me the freedom to work more on myself.

I was really impressed by the amount of progress one can make in 10 days and I improved in ways I never thought possible. In the beginning, I could barely concentrate on my breathing for a couple of seconds and it was quite interesting to see to what crazy, creative and often destructive pasts or futures my mind would take me. However, in the end I was able to concentrate on breathing and sensations for long stretches and forget everything around me. On the last day we watched a documentary and there was literally no background noise in my head and I was seeing and hearing like I’d never done before.

Furthermore, I was able to notice subtler and subtler sensations as we kept on practicing and eventually became so aware that I started to wonder if the sub- or unconscious mind actually exists. Maybe it is just a matter of “not being aware of the present”? Mr. Goenka says: “The mind is a strong wild beast, however, imagine if we could actually tame it and make it work alongside us.” I say we would be present to our needs and those of others and we could fulfil all our dreams without being distracted and with limitless creativity. Although my mind now is not as calm and present as it was on the last day of the course, it has definitely helped me become more present and to “catch and reset” myself when I am drifting of in vicious thought patterns.

On the tenth day we were allowed to speak to each other again. This was the best experience of the whole course as well as the most confronting. I noted that not being distracted by my own troubles and stories at that time really enabled me to connect with other people.  I felt so much love and gratitude for seeing how beautiful and unique everyone was. On the other side, it was really confronting to realize that I always thought I knew what was going on for everyone and especially of how negative they thought about me.

There were so many stories, opinions and expectations I had made up around my fellow meditators. Thankfully, they didn’t make any sense at all. Sometimes I would not even know that I’d already made up a story about a person until they started talking and I would suddenly be surprised that he was actually very kind or, for example, had a really high pitched voice. Knowing this now helps me to better connect with the actual person instead of with the person I think they are. Furthermore, I am starting to see that most people are actually way more supportive and accepting than I always believed they were.

Finally, the great thing of the course is that you can actually experience everything you just read for yourself. For me, that was awesome. Especially since I was often (sometimes still am) looking for answers outside of myself.  I spent hours on internet searching for my best diet, for what yoga and breathing techniques I should use for nasal congestion and what movies I would definitely like according to IMDB. All very useful information but very dangerous if you actually never ask yourself and your own body what works for you. In my opinion, modern life unfortunately works like that. From the day we are born we are told what to do and what to believe. Amazingly, the Buddha does not want you to believe but invites you to come and see.

Oke, what now?
If you are interested in doing a course I would refer you to the Vipassana website: https://www.dhamma.org/en-US/index. There are a lot of countries where the courses are being given. Note that you often have to book a couple of months in advance as the courses are quite popular. If you want more information feel free to ask any questions or watch the documentary: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=WkxSyv5R1sg.

Furthermore, a friend of mine has some explanatory videos about Vipassana on his YouTube channel. (https://www.youtube.com/channel/UC9o_6dH1fbdHvglkU5AqHaw). If you don’t want to do a course, that is also perfect. If you are worried about the physical pain please note this: Everything always happens within the limits of you and your body and friendly Mr. Goenka will be there every evening to treat your wounds: “Patiently and persistently, you are bound to be successful.”

Written by Ramon.

I feel anxious and impatient about the house search

I am guiding highly talented people. They are highly sensitive and are in the process of fully embracing their sensitivity. It’s a shame most of them have a hard time acknowledging their talents. I am happy to help out guiding their emotional development. This week there was one lady in particular who experienced a major breakthrough during a coaching and rebirthing session.

Picture this: she is sitting on the couch and telling me they have to move again. It will be their third time in The Hague. She and her husband are expats. She didn’t smile, her facial expression was quite neutral. Since the previous weekend they started their house search together. After the weekend she continued the house search and set aside her own things: applying for jobs, an online course and being kind to herself as part of her path towards living from her talents. She didn’t look happy with her change of focus, but reassured me she was calm and positive towards finding a new home. I listened, took it in, but didn’t believe her.

When one is trapped in limiting beliefs and behaviour at some point you will feel trapped.

Instead of asking any further I invited her to lay down on the air mattress. Start breathing, start aligning with your body and soul. Start awakening your emotional body, because it will tell the truth.

When she was like 15 minutes in the conscious connected breathing she felt a huge pressure on her chest. It felt like an elephant stamping on her chest, she felt anxiety. She started sharing: I feel anxious and impatient about the house search. My husband is working full time and because of this I feel I need to do more, I feel like a 90% responsible whereas this could be a lot less if I would share more of my thoughts and feelings with my husband. It’s me, he is really nice and thoughtful and tells me to focus on my own things.

But I feel selfish if I would do so, focusing on my own things.

I stimulated her to pick up the conscious connected breathing. After 15 more minutes she felt lots of tension in her arms and hands. It hurt her. She asked if she could stop. Of course. And then, while feeling her body it sank in: that voice in her head, it’s not her own, it’s her mother’s voice telling her she is selfish. (and even more: that she needs a lot of attention, that she makes problems out of nothing, she is difficult)

From the moment she realised this, the tension slowly, but steadily left her arms and hands. She felt so relieved.

The coaching and rebirthing sessions I guide are both emotionally intense; it provided the space to process deep-rooted pain, and practical. This lady left the session with homework: involving her husband more in her world of thoughts and feelings regarding the house search, a good talk would do the work so she could focus and enjoy her own work again.

If you’re interested in an introduction session, click here for more information and to make an appointment. 

Rebirthing: I want to like myself

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It was during our second session. She said: ‘I have visualised this breathing session over and over again. The thoughts popped up were: I have to do my utmost best and I want to stop breathing. The second part was on repeat. It would be her first breathing session. She was afraid, dead scared. At the same time she was curious and looking forward to the experience.

I instructed her by telling she should share her fear based thoughts with me when these would pop up. Also I wanted to hear about the physical expressions inflicted by the conscious connected breathing.

She started breathing on an air mattress.

Inhaling, exhaling, inhaling and exhaling in circles. She continued and she was motivated. At first she felt a tingling sensation all over her body. Shortly after a headache came up at the left side of her head. She felt an ache on her back and a bump in her throat. She continued breathing and the headache got less while another physical expression appeared: there was a kind of a cramp in her face, she felt her mouth tightening.

A thought appeared as a reaction to her “small mouth”: she picked on it, she found it stupid that her mouth felt tiny. From here on I guided her towards releasing the emotions in relationship to the physical expressions and how she picked on her small mouth. I can’t remember the exact words, but they worked: tears rolled down her cheeks.

After the breathing session we spoke about what she felt. She was sad, but hugely relieved: now I know why I always feel I am not good enough. I don’t like myself.

I want to like myself.

Also read: Rebirthing: standing up for yourself 

HSP coaching: longing for a positive change

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Photo by Hans Jongman

The one phrase which reflects my work as a life coach and rebirther for highly sensitive people is ‘I felt self-love from within’. This phrase came from a highly sensitive and creative lady who is in her thirties. After her first rebirthing session she repeatedly shared how amazed she was by what she felt in her body. Just before this amazing feeling in her belly which she described as a feeling of fullness and happiness, she felt tension flowing out of her body through her arms.

She could make a clear distinction between this feeling of self-love from within and the self-love she formerly knew as thoughts and actions directed by her head. This was way better. She felt her inner child on her chest telling her all sorts of happy things like ‘Yeah, finally!’ and ‘What shall we do after this session’. Her inner child was quite content and super happy she broke through her fear and anger.

The voice of her inner child had a counter voice which she felt at the upper right side of her head. This voice was like ‘No way, this can’t be it’ and ‘You’re not there yet’. In daily life she is held back by this critical voice, this voice was loaded by negative comments and limiting thoughts and fuelled by fear, lots of fear. She is taking decisions out of fear. One of the reason she came to me was that she had enough of this fear.

It was time for fear to get the hell out of her system, out of her head, her body, especially her head.

She is longing for a positive change. She wants to embrace her sensitivity fully. She wants to feel more energy. She wants to finally attract a life partner who fits her life and needs.

I have the exact recipe for her to follow. After years of seeing psychologists, undergoing different therapies and acting studies she has come to the point to process deep-rooted fears, anger and sadness. She has always felt different. She wasn’t heard as a child. She was criticised by a parent. The recipe is to express the pain which her body and mind have hold onto for so long.

Fear is longing to be embraced by unconditional love.
The tears of her inner child are waiting to be shed.

With this first session she has peaked through the door towards the life she desires to live. It takes a huge amount of effort, energy and courage to walk this path, but it is worth it, all the way.

Are you interested in finding out what life coaching and rebirthing can bring you, I invite you to make an appointment for an introduction session, either in my coaching practice in The Hague or via video skype. Click here to read more about the introduction session. 

Rebirthing: standing up for yourself

Theme of the week: burnout, highly sensitive woman and men getting to know their emotional bounderies and opening up for sadness and anger. Their emotional roller coaster takes them to a much stronger position in which they feel confident to stand up for themselves. Standing up for yourself is key to maintaining a healthy work-life balance.

The highly sensitive people I speak all work hard and have a strong wish to pick themselves up quickly after a breakdown. They are stressed out and would like to see it as a breakdown, but instead they have to acknowledge it’s a burnout. It’s hard to accept how lost and to the bone tired one feels while recovering from a burnout. They feel mentally, physically and emotionally weak and vulnerable.

People recovering from a burnout walk around being haunted by feelings of disappointment, sadness, anger and guilt. They feel disappointed by their former employers, colleagues and often family and friends who don’t seem to understand their situation. During sessions we speak about the hurt, but mostly I guide them through their pain. Rebirthing, conscious connected breathing, is effective breath-therapy to release all these heavy weighing emotions.

Another aspect of people recovering from burnout is the weakened body. When you don’t know how to release these heavy weighing emotions, these emotions will weaken the body. You can find yourself being tortured by headaches, aching limbs, a slow or fast digestive system, hyperventilation or panic attacks. Rebirthing is the answer to heal the mental, physical, emotional and energetic body.

When I have people laying on an air-matress in my coachingpractice I guide them to open up for the “language” of their body. While doing the conscious connected breathing the body starts to “speak” by physical expressions such as coldness in limbs, tingling over the whole body, itching, cramps, pain in the belly, pressure on the chest and so on. At the height of physical discomfort I guide them to release pain. Sometimes the coachee/ rebirthee is able to release their sadness by themselves, but at other times guidance is necessary, because they simply don’t feel access to releasing the pain.

This week the focus was on guiding them to scream the hell out of them. Imagine these people, they are not used to standing up for themselves, let alone screaming the negative energy out of their system. It was amazing to hear them scream. My screaming helped them to get to know their primal scream. The scream which can stop negative energy in the form of accusations and anger coming your way making you feel guilty and lonely.

Are you interested in an introduction session? Book your introduction session here! 

Read more on rebirthing
Rebirthing: listen to your body
Rebirthing: breathing through despair
Rebirthing: release yourself from cold energy

 

 

Rebirthing: listen to your body

How often do we neglect physical pains and discomforts? Such as a twitching eyelid, headache, stomach pain, cold shoulder, restless leg and so on. Your body wants to be heard and has a story to tell. Stories on what you feel, of emotions which want to be released: sadness, anger, fear and guilt. Start listening, start breathing.

Today a highly sensitive man came in for his 11th rebirthing session. He was in total despair. The last couple of days he was at home after a difficult conversation with his supervisors. He wasn’t able to stand up for himself even though he knows his workload is too much for him. As a result of this meeting he had a headache above walking around with physical complaints such as obstipation and a twitching eyelid. 

For the past years he dealt with the workload and he was quite successful. It was exactly what he wanted. The past months his emotional development took him into a phase in which he needed to stand up for himself. He needed to stand up against his parents. The reason why he took up the workload was a deep desire to be seen, to be acknowledged for his presence, his abilities and knowledge. He had missed this during his upbringing. His parents had to deal with their own problems. They didn’t have the emotional space and consciousness to guide him. 

Emotional development takes a person to his or her own core, the place filled with joy, peace and self love. By continuously emptying this place of sadness, anger, fear, guilt and hate, one makes space for unconditional self love. This is not arrogant nor selfish, it’s essential to maintain emotional health and to start and maintain healthy relationships. 

During a rebirthing session of two hours I have seen this man change from a dead scared man unable to hold his position in conversation with pears to a man who communicated from a confident and strong place. He shared his professional successes and felt proud. He finally felt he was a good, hardworking and reliable human being and employee. Before he was never satisfied and was searching for more appreciation by doing much more than he could handle. He was able to continue this race for a long time steered by his head, his ratio. Hereby totally neglecting his body. 

The past months has changed his attitude in life in a positive way. He is on the verge of living out of love instead of fear. Soon he will make an appointment with his peers to discuss his position.

Two days after having posted this blog I received the following comment of the man I wrote about in this blog:

Thank you Chungmei. It was an amazing journey that I took together with you. Your power, sensing and serenity was inspiring me. And you know what happened after Wednesday: last week I succeeded to stand up for myself. The feedback that I received from my supervisors and colleagues was fantastic.

So I gave myself a big gift. When I came home, all the pain, fear and anger left my body while I was doing the conscious connected breathing. It was enormous intense, painful to feel all the emotions. But this was replaced by good feelings like: proudness, confidence, giving myself (inner) space, and realising what good qualities I have and being able to show these.

A turning point which was already going on, but I didn’t expect that these changes would go so fast. The energy is not there yet, but it is going up and I am doing it step by step. Unbelievable, I was struggling for so many years, but these sessions really helped me a lot!!

As we said a few weeks ago: I’m going to kick some ass and will shine. I’m going to fill this circle with a lot of love and positive energy. Namaste Chungmei.

So what about you? Are you walking around with physical discomforts? Are you in need of positive change? Feel free to contact me to schedule an appointment!

Click here for more information on the introduction session.