This is How We Forge a New Earth.

Via on Dec 11, 2012

I call myself a healer very reluctantly.

As a writer I care about words, and the word “healer” is one of my least favorite—because it’s a word that simply makes no sense to anyone!

To some it conjures up images of snake-oil salesmen or the relic merchants of the middle-ages—and understandably so. For so many years people have been offering solace as a false promise, as a lie.

To others it conjures up hope—the hope that this or that “healer” can truly “heal” me. And again—understandably so. How easy it is to feel powerless in this world and to fall into the trap of believing that salvation lies in the hands of another—perhaps more charismatic, more seemingly powerful, more at-ease—individual.

But nothing could be further from the truth.

Let’s forget about the misuse of the word ‘healing’, and look at what we know about real healing:

What happens when you cut yourself?

Your body heals itself. Your body heals itself automatically, and if you really think about it, it’s nothing short of miraculous.

And this is the key to understanding real healing work. I don’t really heal anyone. I just help people along on the journey to self-healing. I see myself more as an Empowerer—but try telling that to people in response to the question: “What do you do?”!

In my last piece of writing—Why Life is So Difficult Today (& Mankind in Such a Mess)—I said that our problems are caused by subconscious blockages that are the result of trauma. At the end of that piece I said that I’d explain how to heal those blockages… here goes:

Wild animals, after surviving trauma, go through a process that scientists call “completing trauma.” This usually looks like a shaking of the body. The theory is that the accumulated energy of the nervous system’s survival response (usually fight or flight—otherwise freeze) is being shaken out, released.

Human beings, at some point in our evolution, stopped “completing” trauma. Instead, we internalize it.

The energy is suppressed.

What happens to that energy is that it creates a blockage. And the blockage can be on a number of levels—physical, emotional, or psychological. But what is being blocked is the natural ability of our organism and mind to heal, and express itself freely.

Now, to remove the blockage (in order to facilitate true self-healing—which is what my job is, and the job of any healer / therapist worth their salt)—what we have to understand is what happened in the moment of trauma.

First of all, we survived. And really, that’s the key because it’s our relationship to survival and safety that has caused us the problem in the first place:

Because our search for safety has defined the vast part of our evolution.

Only relatively recently has safety become fairly assured, but our bodies haven’t caught up with that realization—hence our love for gossip, fear, stress, “bad news,” horror movies, etc. These things affirm our deeply rooted (although unfounded) fears.

Actually, the definition of trauma (in its broadest sense) is feeling unsafe (and if you think about that deeply enough you’ll realize that you’ve been through a lot of trauma).

And whenever we feel unsafe we almost literally regress back to our most primal form. We bypass many millennia of evolution and function momentarily in a very simple way: our intellectual potential (head) and emotional capacities (heart) are suspended, and we operate purely on the level of instinct—

in other words, in the gut.

What that means, in practical terms, is that our survival instincts kick in and our body reacts in whatever way necessary to keep us safe—almost always a variation of either Fight or Flight, or if either of those aren’t possible, Freeze.

And then, as scientists have observed, we suppress the energy of the trauma.

The problem is that as we suppress the energy of the trauma we also subconsciously associate safety / survival and whatever instinct kept us safe. In other words if you had to fight to survive, you continue to subconsciously associate fighting with safety!

I have to fight to survive.”

In that case you may well often revert to aggressive behaviour in order to “survive” any future moment when you feel unsafe. Explains much of the abusive behaviour in the world today right?

If you had to run away or hide (flight instinct), you may well have a pattern of running or hiding.

If you froze, you may well feel frozen again and again and again.

And the point is, we all have these patterns. One of the reasons we all have them is that unresolved trauma is handed down generation after generation. That’s not New Age fluff—it’s epigenetics (links to a fascinating documentary that explains epigenetics and the significance of ancestral trauma).

And what happens when human beings—”the paragon of animals”—revert constantly to unconscious patterns of behaviour? We forge a society that commits unspeakable acts—acts that even “lesser” animals don’t do to each other. And you know— that’s where we’re at isn’t it?

So, how do we release these blockages that are caused by trauma? How to forge a “New Earth?”

It’s really very, very simple (almost as simple as the way in which your body heals itself after a cut).

First, we must understand the nature of the blockage: it is a subconscious resistance.

How do you release a subconscious resistance? The most elegant way I know of is to consciously accept it! By making it conscious, it’s no longer subconscious. And by accepting it, there is no more resistance. It’s like shining a light onto a shadow: it simply disappears.

So to be clear: to release a blockage, you trace it to it’s root cause: the survival instinct that underlies the symptoms of the problem. There are various tools for doing this, and I won’t go into it here (you need a little training for that).

When you find the instinct, which until now was subconscious, you acknowledge it—which means that you are aware of it, and you accept it. This is the meaning of acknowledgement: awareness and acceptance.

Then, there is no subconscious resistance. There is only conscious acceptance, and you are free.

Photograph: ‘Jump’ – www.paulprescott.com

What happens next is so beautiful: you are free, you are light and unburdened, your old patterns and habits change, your relationships change, you feel better about yourself, there is less fear, more love, and a greater sense of inter-connection with the world around you.

And most importantly—to my mind—your descendents are also freed from those old patterns.

This is how we will forge a new society, a “New Earth.” One blockage at a time, one person at a time.

Starting now, starting here, starting with myself.

Please spread the love and share this. A facebook ‘like’, a tweet, an email to your friends, all go a long way. And leave a comment / ask a question. Let’s have a discussion about this right here!

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About Ben Ralston

Ben Ralston almost joined the army when he was 18. When he was 32 he almost became a Swami. *** Now he is a healer, Reference Point Therapy teacher, and advanced Yoga instructor in the Sivananda tradition . His work as a healer acknowledges trauma as the underlying cause of almost all human problems, and resolves trauma at the causal level: gut-based survival instincts. The intention behind all his work is to empower others. *** Ben splits his time between his busy international practice, training therapists, and writing. As an experienced Yoga and Meditation teacher he also runs retreats, usually on the beautiful Croatian coast. *** Connect with Ben on Facebook. Read more of his writing on his blog Grounded Spirituality.

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6 Responses to “This is How We Forge a New Earth.”

  1. Thanks for a valuable and generous offering here, Ben. If we were not traumatized we would be free. We were traumatized though, most of us in some small or large way. I believe your process is a powerful assist for the traumatized but also a powerful message of compassion for others as we are in the same life, sharing the experience of being human. Well said and well talked and walked out. :) I always enjoy our meetings on this site.

    • Ben Ralston Ben_Ralston says:

      Thank you Hilary, I enjoy our meetings here too.
      I believe we are all of us traumatized in pretty big ways. I'm planning on writing about that next: what is trauma, and how are we affected by it in practical terms, and now does it affect us globally, in our communities, in society.
      Personally I believe that the only thing in between us and a peaceful, sustainable society is trauma. But lots of it.

  2. Ms. Shabby says:

    There must be some truth in it but I just do not know how acknowledging a problem on an intellectual level leads to its emotional processing. Many patients in psychotherapy acknowledges things like for example driniking or overeating as a coping strategy when they are exposed to stress. They really know it on a rational, intellectual level how they work. But when a new stressful situation evolves again, they will revert to these old strategies again. Because the recognition has not descended from the intellectual level to the emotional one. You need some kind of irrational cathartic experience for that. When they not just know that it is bad to treat their stressing out by overeating but when they really feel through how bad and damaging it is. So you need much more than just a rational acknowledging of a trauma in order to get rid of the blockage caused by it. Would be great if the author could dwell on this a bit. But anyway, I really love your writing, Ben.

    • Ben Ralston Ben_Ralston says:

      Hi Ms Shabby, thank you for loving, and for a great comment. I'll answer your points:
      First of all, the work, and the acknowledgement must – as you say – be on a deeper level. But it must be deeper than BOTH the intellectual (head) and emotional (heart) levels. It must be done on the level of the GUT. I explained this in the article, but maybe it wasn't clear enough.
      So yes, it's certainly not enough to acknowledge, for example, "when I'm stressed, I overeat". That's obviously not going to get you very far!
      First you must find what is *causing* the association between stress and overeating. And as I wrote, it's about safety. Stress feels unsafe, eating feels safe. Why? My work is to help someone fill in those blanks, so that the process, or mechanism in between stress and overeating becomes conscious. And then, and only then, acknowledging it – from a space of presence, which means not intellectual, not emotional, but total presence – releases the pattern.
      It does sound too good to be true (too easy, too simple), but it works every time. Trust me ;)

  3. Jenifer says:

    This reminds me a lot of what my dad used to tell me when I fell down in sports.

    First, he would make sure that I was ok and not in need of medical attention (you know, a cast or stitches or some such — a little aid to the body's natural process of healing), and then after the plaster had been placed or the hug/kiss given, he'd go "ok, now, shake it off."

    I still do this bit. Sometimes — even when I can't identify what I feel or why I feel a certain way, I just start. . . "shaking it off." I used to get teased a lot as a kid for it (and lots of other things), and every once in a while another adult will give me the old "this chick is completely bats" look — but I've learned to shake that off too.

    I also would probably just put you — like me — in the category of teacher. Really, we are just providing instruction in different skills. And then it's up to the person to use those skills to direct their own work (healing, or whatever). I tell people that yoga — what I teach — belongs tot hem and can be used for their purposes. . . there's nothing "unreal" or "inappropriate" about how they choose to use it. I don't like to get into the pissing contests of which yogis and yogas are "real" you know? It's like "here is the process, here are the forms. do what you will with it." I feel that sincere practice — regardless of focus — will bring them benefits both seen and unseen.

    And, I've been teaching the shake it off in class too. Hmm. that's interesting. I noted that at the end of balancing postures, everyone was getting super rigid. So, I was like, "ok, shake it off now. just you know, hokey-pokey" (which is a sweet here, not a dance, so the translation didn't go over well" and then — because I'm the teacher — we actually did the Hokey-pokey dance, which of course was free of charge included in the normal class price.

    But I think there's really something important about "shake it all around" because 'that's what it's all about" right?

    • Ben Ralston Ben_Ralston says:

      Wow Jenifer, great observations. Thank you!
      First – I believe that one of the reasons we stopped shaking trauma off is because of the sense of shame that you allude to: probably related to the dogma of religion. We got all self-conscious and had to be 'normal', or be ostracized (or worse, like burnt at the stake). And I've read about many native cultures where it's totally normal to just be a bit bonkers from time to time, shake, scream, etc – but let it out.
      And yes, the hokey pokey song. I'm going to investigate that a little bit :)

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