I find the great thing in this world is not so much where we stand
as in what direction we are moving;
To reach the port of heaven
we must sail sometimes with the wind and sometimes against it.
But we must sail, and not drift, nor lie at anchor.
Oliver Wendell Holmes, Sr.
As we traverse through our healing experiences, what other options are available to us beyond the pursuit of more information about the problem itself? If the ports of information we have entered along our healing journey have not brought about the change and healing we seek, and if we have wholeheartedly taken up and applied the recommendations given in those ports but to little or no avail, where else shall we sail to?
If information-oriented destinations are not bringing about our hoped-for healing, perhaps an adjustment to our sailing direction would be the first option for us to consider.
Weighing the Anchor
In order to adjust the direction of our healing journey and open up the possibility of sailing into our fresh new waters, we must first begin with a shift in focus.
Shifting our focus from ‘the problem’, regardless of what we may believe it to be or regardless of what we may have been told about it, and shifting it instead to another vantage point often reveals a whole new way of seeing it. And just as often, this fresh understanding of the territory we may be in opens new doorways to us, including doorways for healing, that we previously may have been unaware of.
When a health matter shows up, it understandably begins to draw our focus to it. Whether due to discomfort, unwellness, pain or worry, our attention is naturally drawn to the thing that is somehow ‘not right‘ and the ways that this may be affecting us, our lives and the lives of those around us. Additionally, our focus on healing the matter begins to take on just as much energy. We wish to take care of ourselves, restore normality to our lives and ensure that we remain in the land of wellness, health and full function. Our desire to do this is only natural.
However all too often, the focus on the problem becomes its own problem. Whether through relentless pursuit of information about the cause, or relentless pursuit of cure, almost unwittingly our focus can become lost in the realm of the problem itself. And, this can be unintentionally exacerbated by the models of healing we go to for help, where focus on 'the problem' is key to the models' own approach to dealing with health matters. Regardless, the focus of the healing journey then becomes bound and anchored in one place...in the problem itself.
However where our focus and attention goes, so goes our power. Innocently enough, the problem begins to hold the power in the situation - not its own inherent power but our power, including the power we have to heal and release it from our experience.
The Weight and Force Of The Anchor
Sadly this dynamic of giving power to the problem has consumed me more than once during my own personal healing experiences. Through the potent combination of fear and worry, something I was exposed to very early in life as it related to health matters and which was often intensified inadvertently by the din of public information, opinions from the health community and/or cultural beliefs I was exposed to regards whatever I was dealing with at the time, I, too, easily lost my way along the healing path. It was often like trying to walk through a hurricane, though an invisible one, where I felt the effects but could not see the actual storm I was in. The combination of the inner fear and the outer noise that stoked it made it almost impossible - each time - to find my way out. The weight of this anchor of focus nearly kept me from healing each time as well, even after I had developed as a health intuitive. Its force is insidious and deep.
Adjusting Our Sails
Rather than serve as a sign that something is perhaps amiss and may require some learning, some healing, some releasing or a change somehow for the better, the focus on the problem can consume the healing journey and actually take us off track. It can be so difficult to remember that the journey is a healing journey for the whole self rather than a 'fixing the problem' journey. It can be especially difficult to remember this if what we are dealing with health-wise is truly frightening, life-threatening and serious in nature. The pull of the problem is like a persistent wind that never stop blowing against our sails, always to greater or lesser extents in the backdrop of the journey itself.
But all the more reason to regain our personal footing within our own experience. Taking our power back through taking our focus back is the first way we begin to adjust our sails and chart a new course for our own healing. By making the conscious decision to reclaim our focus and prepare to put it elsewhere, we take the first important step out of the picture of the problem. Our leave-taking has begun. Further shores await.
What Shifting Focus Away Looks Like
When dealing with a health matter, it is important to distinguish between healthy, constructive focus and negative, life-draining focus. One can still attend to one's health matter and in most cases, particularly serious cases, one should. Caring for your body and being through eating well, receiving health-based supportive treatments, meditation or mindfulness activities, engaging in some type of physical movement if you are able, surrounding yourself with both people and healing materials that are supportive, life-enhancing and positive are all examples of constructive focus. Anything that enhances your life, your mood and your happiness all falls under that which is constructive focus. If it enhances life, it enhances your life, and that can only be a positive thing along the healing journey.
The only caveat here is doing constructive things from a place of fear rather than enjoyment, in which case even something innately positive such as eating well can take on a fear-based life of its own and become a negatively-charged 'positive' focus that consumes you, your attention, happiness and deeper well-being. Staying close to what brings true enhancement, joy and 'life' to your life is key to distinguishing the type of focus you may actually be spending time in.
Negative, life-draining focus is just that - engaging in activities, thoughts, beliefs, communities or reading materials that create or enhance fear and a sense of powerlessness. Or, give more power to the problem somehow which then drains the vital life force that actually heals us. Being mindful of where you are placing your focus, what is affecting it subtly or overtly, is key to staying in yourself and your power to heal. This is the most important power you have within a healing experience - honor and develop it further by feeding, nurturing and protecting it rather than unconsciously giving it away to outer influences or inner fears. Take active steps to enhance constructive focus, and just as actively catch negative focus tendencies and do something else. Anything life-enhancing will do. This takes practice, time and commitment, but our healing forces depend on it.
It can become a sad irony that in our efforts to heal, we can unintentionally move ourselves away from that very outcome by a consuming focus on the problem, or with trying to fix it. Through holding our attention on the problem - the nature of it, the name of it, the prognosis of it or even in an endless search for the cause or cure of it - we can unwittingly anchor ourselves to the problem rather than learn how to heal and release it from our experience. Taking this first step of shifting our attention away from the problem is how we begin to weigh the anchor in our own healing experience, freeing both our inner selves and our energies up for forward healing movement.
But shifting focus away from the problem is still only half of the healing equation. Though this essential step can immediately begin to restore some sense of peace, space and balance within our situation and ourselves, and importantly serve as a safeguard against being consumed by our own thoughts, worries or anxieties about the issue, by itself it rarely brings about completed healing. It frees us through lifting the anchor on the energies that do the healing. But by itself lifting the anchor does not sail the vessel, it simply allows essential movement to occur.
Our next stop on the journey will be the exploration of what we turn our focus toward instead - the second-half of our healing equation and that which empowers the current that brings us to our healing shores.
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