The Healing Path: Seven Simple Exercises for Self Mastery

By Rita Woods, LMT
July 28, 2010

The Healing Path: Seven Simple Exercises for Self Mastery

By Rita Woods, LMT
July 28, 2010

We live our lives based on what we believe about the world, people and ourselves. Many of our deeply held beliefs were established when we were children and have remained in our subconscious mind silently directing our choices and determining our life patterns. Beliefs are established by combining what we think is true with what we feel is true and accepting that as certainty.

According to the neuroscientist Dr. Candace Pert: "We only see what we believe is possible. We match patterns that already exist within ourselves through conditioning."

Recently, I was reading a book on photography and found some optical illusion artwork that clearly proved her point. A variety of objects were overlaid on a checkerboard pattern and the instructions said to find the square that was a different shade. Unable to find said square, I looked at the answer key and thought they had made a mistake as the squares all appeared the same. It was only when I isolated the individual squares that I was able to see the difference.

Naturally, I showed this picture to several of my friends and none of them were able to pick out the different square. Our brains expected to see the continuation of the pattern and therefore, we were unable to see the change. The bigger question is, how much of our world is only a perceived reality based on individual conditioning.

Is there anything you want to change in your world? It is not only possible but it is easier now to change than it has ever been in the history of mankind. Many of the laws of nature that have been accepted as truth (belief) in the scientific community were established in the early 1600s. Their belief was that some forces of nature were immutable, unchangeable and omnipotent. But recent discoveries in physics have provided evidence that what we once accepted as truth - just isn't so.

As science changes, a cascade of events takes place including what we teach our children, and what we learn in college. It shifts what we write about and what we read. It changes our inventions, our technologies and our experiences which all lead to changing what we believe is possible. Many people believe that the greatest discovery in recent times (and perhaps of all time) is that fields of energy not only exist, but can be acted upon through human conscious awareness to elicit change. Our belief patterns established in childhood predominately reside in the subconscious mind which is faster and larger than the conscious mind, and is estimated to account for 90 percent of our activities. It is through conscious activities that we are able to affect change that will eventually lead to the shifts in the subconscious.

In other words, you have to do something in order to bring about change. Mahatma Gandhi said, "You must be the change you want to see in the world."

This series of articles is about following a healing path. As massage therapists, we are uniquely positioned to be an example of compassion, kindness, love, non-judgment, personal healing, universal peace, intuition and creativity. I have compiled a simple list of practical exercises that can help shift who you are now into who you want to be. Documentation exists to support the effectiveness of each of these exercises and I encourage you to research them further. These are baby steps with profound results. Do them regularly with deliberate intent.

7 Self-Mastery Exercises

1. Breathe. Start with simple deep breathing exercises. Breathing in to a count of 5 and out to a count of 5. When you control your breathing, you control your nervous system. There are systems of healing utilizing breathing including qi gong and yoga. HeartMath has a series of simple breathing programs that involve gratitude, creativity and problem solving. Breathing is one of the most important things you can do. It's easy. It's free. It's very effective. When you are under stress, you tend to shallow breathe or hold your breath. This has detrimental effects on the cells in the body. Proper breathing is a prerequisite to further mind-body exercises.

2. Water. Yes, I know you hear this all the time; but its importance should not be underestimated. You are a hydro-electrical being and without water you will short circuit. Dehydration has been implicated in numerous health problems including high blood pressure. Proper hydration is a prerequisite to further mind-body exercises.

3. Exercise. In addition to having beneficial effects on the immune system, glucose levels, and mental health, exercise quiets down beta brain waves. This is the mind chatter and information overload you are exposed to everyday. Exercise quiets the part of the brain that keeps you from accessing your higher self.

4. Relax. Relaxation is an activity. It is something that you do - not something that you hope happens when you sit down. It requires that you deactivate the sympathetic nervous system. Try thinking of it in terms of an activity rather than something that asks you to be still. Imagine that you are in charge of the factory and control the switches. See it as a state of mind, not a resting period.

5. Meditation. This is a big subject and there are a variety of options for you here. To access your higher self, I recommend programs developed specifically for that. All meditation is not the same. Anna Wise, author of The High-Performance Mind: Mastering Brainwaves for Insight, Healing and Creativity, offers several meditations to achieve self mastery. She also offers the meditations on CD. There are others that you can find with a little effort online. Meditation is a process of allowing.

6. Close your eyes. Take a few time outs through the day and close your eyes. Producing alpha brain waves is physiologically linked to your eyes. Alpha waves (if you recall from my last article) are the bridge between the conscious and subconscious. Taking these timeouts through the day will allow your intuition and creativity to surface.

7. Nature. Connecting with nature helps balance the mind. They have found that children who do not get out into nature suffer from anxiety and agitation more than children who do. Go for a walk, visit a waterfall or just take your shoes off and walk in the grass. Root yourself into Mother Earth and invite her Energy to fill you with contentment. Smile.

You don't have to spend money or spend a lot of time to do these simple exercises. Even a few minutes three times a week will begin to open the door that will eventually open to a new world. More details are available on my Web site including using the exercises for anti-aging. Namaste