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Stage Four - Reclaiming Our Power

The 12 Stages of Healing

Whether you’re suffering from physical, mental or emotional pain and are seeking to get on the healing path, we invite you to read our latest blog series, ‘The 12 Stages of Healing.” The series starts with Stage 1, which is Suffering and ends with Stage 12, Community. Our doctors share their wisdom and encouragement to help you move through each stage toward achieving the healing you seek. Each blog concludes with a special breathing exercise and affirmation for that stage of healing.

I take my power back. I honor my inner being. I reclaim my wholeness.

outdoor tai chi classStage Four is a major doorway to reclaiming our personal power and affirming responsibility for our healing. The statement that best expresses this stage is, “I’m not going to take this anymore!” This statement is often preceded by, “I’m mad as hell….”. It reflects the realization that our suffering — be it physical, emotional, or economical — is the result of our lack of wholeness. We have been disconnected from our inner essence and we no longer wish to remain this way.

Stage Four is one of the more interesting stages of healing because it offers a variety of challenges that can divert us from healing. At the beginning of this stage, we again arrive at an important bifurcation point; we reach a fork in the road in our healing journey and can choose one of two paths, a choice that will determine the direction of our healing process.

As we enter the first path — the one most commonly chosen — we say, “I’ve had it! No more!” We separate ourselves from our suffering by actively rejecting our symptoms, pain, or the apparent source of our suffering. We may leave a relationship, undergo surgery, quit our job, or sell the house. We want to do everything possible to remove ourselves from our distress.

The other path — the one less often chosen — involves a different state of awareness. Although we may still say to ourselves, “No more!”, this statement often followed by, “I cannot continue getting myself into these situations.” Rather than wanting to separate from the apparent cause of our suffering, we assume a greater degree of responsibility for the deeper, less obvious factors that may underlie our situation.

Finding Order in Chaos

When we begin to move through Stage Four, we do not need to know that we are becoming empowered. If we say, “I have to change but I don’t know what to do,” we can be assured that the time to change has not yet arrived. When changes are necessary, our internal wisdom will tell us exactly what we need. Change becomes effortless at the appropriate stage of our healing.

This is the stage in which, for example, people no longer want discomfort in a relationship or the insecurity of a financial disturbance. As a result, many will produce new patterns in an attempt to control the chaos. “Easy” ways out include finding a new partner, avoiding relationships altogether, changing jobs, or relocating. Others will seek therapeutic intervention or financial counselling to regain control in their lives.

If these efforts are reactions to the “I’m mad as hell and I’m not going to take this anymore” mindset, then they often produce more chaos than they were intended to control. However, the same decisions made later in Stage Four take on a totally different meaning when these decisions are actions born from a commitment to wholeness.The lesson that is contained in this stage of healing — honoring one’s existence — involves a constant enfolding and unfolding between chaos and order. Rather than repressing the chaos in our lives, we need to experience its energy, learn what it may have to teach us, and discover the underlying order behind its appearance. Since chaos governs our nervous system, our ability to create order out of chaos is a sign of growth and development.

Procedures as Distractions

In Stage Four we are often tempted to add more structure and procedure to our lives in an attempt to gain a greater degree of control. However, by following procedures, we do not get in touch with the underlying adverse tension in our spines, bodies or lives. We can actually keep ourselves from participating in the healing process by remaining too busy to feel the underlying issues.

Decisions made in Stage Four that are reactions to our frustrations lead us to make choices from our separateness. These decisions include going on diets, meeting new people, learning new techniques or trying new therapies, all done with the intent of reclaiming the power outside ourselves. This is not to suggest that existing exercise programs, educational seminars, healthier diets or new friends, are not effective. But the decisions to change our lives that we make in Stage Four can divert us from the healing journey if we have not yet developed the flexibility, perspective or level of consciousness to make decisions that will be best for us in the long term.

However, the later part of Stage Four does not involve making choices, but simply the decision to honor one’s self. We need to simply say, “I won’t take this anymore. I want to take my power back.” “I will separate myself from any situation that does not let me express my power. I am greater than I am allowing myself to be.” That is the furthest we need to go in Stage Four.

Moving Through Stage Four

At the beginning of Stage Four, we commonly feel upset, anxious, irritable or angry, without knowing why. We are aware that we are stuck in a perspective, but we have not yet removed enough interference from our bodymind to reclaim our power. We are still feeling powerlessness in response to reclaiming our true identity and selfhood, because our system has not yet made the commitment that “I won’t take this anymore. I deserve more than this.”

When we have been disconnected from, or have denied the reality of, our internal power — or if we have not expressed our innate potential — we often become angry, best expressed by the line, “I’m mad as hell!” However, as we move through Stage Four, the initial irritation, upset or anger is gradually replaced by a deep sense of self-respect and the desire to truly honor who we are. We know we are moving through Stage Four effectively when there is no longer any angry charge to reclaiming our power. When Stage Four is completed, we will have integrated its lessons fully into our consciousness.

As a result, we will automatically begin to move away from the suffering. If Stage Four is not fully completed, we will walk away from the suffering but not confront what was behind the illusion that caused the suffering in the first place. At the end of Stage Four, we may become aware that we need to go back to our darkness and re-experience the time of the original suffering. For when we say, “Hey, I don’t want this anymore,” we need to actually see what it is we don’t want. By the time we reach this phase, we feel strong enough that we can visit the “old neighborhood” again without moving back.

We have the inner strength to return and look at the photo album of experiences without being a part of them anymore. As a result, we give ourselves the opportunity to gain more insight from them as we prepare to move toward the fifth stage of healing, which involves merging.

From Patient to Practice Member

In the early stage of the healing process (Stages One, Two and Three), we may seek the services of a doctor or therapist to end our suffering, manage our discomfort, or bring order to our life again. In these stages, the main task of the practitioner involves helping us create life the way it was just before our symptoms arose and the illness or the suffering interrupted our orderly existence. In Stage Four, we walk through an important door. Here, our personal power and integrity — the “I am” consciousness within us, our inner wisdom and the essential rhythms we express — must be honored. We no longer want to return to the way life was before, because we are now aware that much of the old life was not working for us.

As a consequence of this new awareness, we are more inclined to seek practitioners who will help us experience more wholeness in our lives, and enable us to honor our essence more completely. There may still be a need for a practitioners who can make us “feel better,” but this help is now administered within the context of an evolving self. We now want a relationship where the practitioner helps us to take back our power rather than an authority figure who is in control while we remain passive.

The term patient is “one who is sick with, or being treated for an illness or injury.” The term applies that people are sick and that the practitioner will make them well. But Network Chiropractic we believe we are our own healers, so we use a different term for those involved in the higher stages of the healing process. People who are taking their power back and see that their growth, healing and evolution are primary are called “practice members.” The distinction is this: patients want to be “fixed” and returned to who they were before the onset of the symptoms; practice members no longer find this place acceptable.

Hearing Yourself Ask for Help

In the earlier part of Stage Four, you may use words like, “Please don’t make me take this anymore. Please don’t make me have to put up with this any longer.” Although this may sound like the dialogue in Stage One, your sense of self is strong enough that you ask for help for yourself. In Stage One there is only the experience of suffering. There is no awareness of the individual doing the suffering. In Stage Four, it is different. Later in Stage Four, you may say, “Please don’t let me dishonor myself anymore,” or “Please guide me in honoring myself.”

Stage Four Exercise

Place your finger over your left nostril. Quickly breathe in through your right nostril and quickly exhale through your right nostril. Now place your finger over your right nostril. Quickly breathe in through your left nostril, then quickly breathe out through your left nostril. Continue alternate nostril breathing for at least two minutes. Meanwhile, place your free hand on your chest. Feel your chest rise and fall as you breathe. Slowly move your hand down to areas that do not feel as though they are moving with your breathing. Then move back to those areas that are moving.

Stage Four Declarations

“I take my power back.” “I honor my total being.” “I reclaim my wholeness.” “I deserve more that this.”

“I have to stop selling myself short.”

There’s Magic In A Healthy Spine!

The 12 Stages of Healing

1 | 2 | 3 | 4 | 5 | 6 | 7 | 8 | 9 | 10 | 11| 12


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