Massage & Bodywork

MAY | JUNE 2017

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C h e c k o u t A B M P 's l a t e s t n e w s a n d b l o g p o s t s . Av a i l a b l e a t w w w. a b m p . c o m . 93 EMBRACING LOVE People usually come to massage professionals and bodyworkers because they are experiencing concrete problems or desiring tangible changes. There's another energy, though, which is less detectable. This is subtle energy, and it directs physical reality. Subtle energy is typically described as unmeasurable, but that doesn't mean it's unimportant or weak. What we perceive in physical reality is formulated by subtle energy. What steers subtle energy? Consciousness. Scientists used to believe that concrete reality is constructed of matter. We now know that matter reduces to energy, which is organized as vortices that constantly spin. We are also discovering that thoughts—such as ideas, intentions, and desires—influence these ever-shifting invisible vortices of energy, deciding what is going to appear or disappear in the world. 3 Studies have found that the essential nature of subtle energy is interconnectivity. A person's invisible and inaudible thoughts, moods, or desires can influence what appears in the objective world. I like using the term directed thoughts to describe consciousness—the steering wheel of subtle energy. When we focus on a desired outcome, or even a positive emotion, we're able to support uplifting change. This point begs the question: How do we create these empowered thoughts? Well, obsession doesn't work; neither does punishing ourselves for a slippery thought. And how has repeating an affirmation a million times worked for you? Our higher consciousness can't be bullied into perfection. Rather, there are two main overarching activities we combine to direct subtle energy and, therefore, pilot physical reality. In a nutshell, we shift reality by blending awareness and attention. Awareness refers to our perception of a situation. Attention is our ability to select an aspect of our awareness and focus on it. By putting the two activities together, our brain's neurons will oscillate rhythmically and help create a desirable outcome. 4 When clients' struggles are overwhelming, and they—or we—don't seem to be making a dent in them, we have to go off-road. It's not going to work to massage harder or talk louder. We must activate more powerful energies than are available physically. We must call on the subtle realms. To do this, I suggest returning to Frankl's wisdom. I believe he would advise a bodyworker in this way: By far, the most effective way to shift subtle energies and, therefore, concrete reality, is to assist a suffering client in uncovering what is most meaning ful to them. And then, help them focus on what is meaning ful, no matter what. As already inferred, Frankl was an expert on the meaning of life. He endured four Nazi camps between 1942 and 1945, though his family perished. What did he learn? This brilliant and compassionate psychiatrist concluded that we cannot avoid suffering, even in everyday life. We can, however, choose how to deal with it. After the camps, Frankl created a psychological treatment called logotherapy, which encapsulated his wisdom. In Greek, the word logos stands for "word," "reason," or "plan." Frankl claimed that the only way to thrive during intense situations is to discover what we find personally meaningful, rather than pleasurable or empowering. This, Frankl asserts, is our primary life purpose. 5 In other words, we must become aware of, and attend to, the self that we desire to be. During one of the thousands of demeaning and callous cruelties inflicted at the hands of the Nazis, one of Frankl's fellow captives made a touching comment about the captives' wives. Frankl was struck with a profound realization. He grasped the secret embedded in all human hearts, writings, and activities. There is only one aspect of reality that counts, and that is love. Even when we're completely desolate, we can always create a moment of bliss by focusing on that which we love. Even when we're unable to take a single positive action, we can act honorably by directing our thoughts toward that which we love. 6 No matter the situation, human life never stops having meaning. Even the most hopeless of situations doesn't need to detract from our ultimate purpose, which is to embrace—and represent—love. 7 FINDING MEANING The more agonizing an event, the more powerless a client might feel, and the more difficult it will be to uncover the meaning in a situation. Meaning is a matter of awareness or perspective. When a client is in pain, whether it is physical, emotional, or spiritual, they might not want to search for meaning. Some people bask in self-pity. Others use suffering to draw attention to themselves. I've even The most effective way to shift subtle energies and, therefore, concrete reality, is to assist a suffering client in uncovering what is most meaningful to them.

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