a road with many lanes going straight ahead, and one lane making a sharp right turn 

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When talking about moving forward to healing, one of the most common issues I see with my patients is stuckness. Often, people cope with their health issues by accepting the way their situation appears to them. They will often hold on to an inner story as to why they are having the experience. They tell me

“I have gallbladder disease [or back pain or skin cancer or high blood pressure] because it runs in my family.”
Or, perhaps, “I have back pain because I have to stand on concrete floors all day at work.”
Or, “My mother has problems with her nerves; I get it from her.”

The minute you make that sort of statement, one that is declarative and aligned with the current way in which you perceive your experience, you are putting up bars in the cage that surrounds you. Let me explain.

If you have said that the only thing you can experience is what others in your family have—your mother struggled with her nerves, your father had high blood pressure, your grandmother had gallbladder problems, and so on—you have relinquished your independence. You have defined your power as being within the limits of how things seem to operate. You are, in effect, putting yourself in a cage that limits and traps you. Your words indicate your underlying belief about your limitations, and your belief is neither expansive nor transformational.

Change Can Be Scary

Change can be scary. However, let’s be totally honest. If no change occurs, your health challenge will be unaffected; you will be stuck. If you are unwilling to change, even the slightest bit, it means you are unwilling to be different: to have different (and improved) physiology and to walk on a new road, one of healing.

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One of the fundamentals of shamanic work is to let go of old ideas about yourself and what you can experience to make way for new beliefs. It is the shaman’s job to work with, travel along, and help the client to shift. In other words, the client might be likely to develop high blood pressure, like their father had, or gallbladder problems, like their grand­mother had, but there are other possibilities that might defy the odds a physician offers. The shaman can help shift a person’s destiny path away from the momentum of the majority and toward the minority.

In books such as Power of Silence: Further Lessons from Don Juan, Carlos Castaneda wrote about human perceptions from the perspective of the energy field. In essence, he said that humans have beams of light emanat­ing from them in a ball-shaped pattern (or what some shamans describe as a luminous energy field, which is often perceived as egg-shaped). On one point on the surface of this ball, beams congregate, extending outward to the outside world. Whatever point the beams touch and illuminate in the outer Universal Field opens like a window, lighting the way to our “seeing” whatever is being expressed in that part of the field. That slice of perception, that window, is much smaller than the totality of exist­ence. Castaneda called this congregation of beams the “assemblage point” and said we all have one.

In other words, we perceive the part of the Universal Field that our congregated beams touch and light up. We see only that with which our outward focus interacts, but this is a limited view relative to the whole of the universe. Collectively, humans congregate their individual beams and “open” the same “window” of the Universal Field. We share a collective reality, a shared perspective.

Shamans, Castaneda explained, can shift their assemblage point, allowing them to perceive reality in different ways. By setting an intention to change the position of the assemblage point, the shaman causes an individual field to touch a different part of the Universal Field. That in turn causes a change in perception for the person the shaman is helping.

Our Journey Toward Health

How can adjusting the assemblage point’s position work for us in our journey toward health? Thoughts determine outcomes and intention shifts reality. When you approach a health challenge, be ready to think in a new way and to hold the most powerful intention. Energetically, as understood by shamans for millennia, you are aligning your energy field with a different part of the Universal Field, one that links up with your desires, with your new intentions. Consequently, you can change your perspective and thus, your reality.

Here is another way to think about your assemblage point and your perceptions. When you hold an unmovable thought (“I have back problems just as my father did”), you have linked up with the part of the Universal Field where you have back problems that are not going away. You’ve done this by accessing the reality that says you are just like your father.

Your assemblage point is linked up with a very limited reality. You have built a cage around you, one of thoughts that anchor you and keep you boxed in. As soon as you decide to change your thought (perhaps to “I can heal myself; I can be free of back pain”), you are linking up with a new reality. You have decided to open the door of your cage and even open a window in the metaphorical room in which you live. When you shift your thoughts, you shift your assemblage point and thus, your reality.

Choosing a World of New Possibilities

Now, on a day-to-day level, you probably won’t be thinking of assemblage points and realities. But you should be thinking of being and living in a new world, one of new possibilities rather than one of probabilities. To do that, you must change your thoughts and, in turn, change the way in which you speak about yourself and your health and your destiny—the “story” or explanation you have for what you have experienced, are expe­riencing, and will most likely experience. You must be willing to have a different way of framing your past, present, and future.

Of the many challenges I face being a physician and shamanic healer is helping patients change their story, their language, and their limiting beliefs. Almost daily, I have a conversation with someone in which I say, “Who says?” or “Is that a rule that can’t be broken?”

We then begin to talk about the cages that are built due to the patient’s limiting thoughts, whether the patient can see how boxed in they are, and if the patient is willing to change. I often lead with, “What if this issue could be fixed?” or “What would it look like to be free of this issue?”

Do You Really Want to Change?

Believe it or not, not all patients want to change. They might say they do, but digging deeper, they start to see that on some level, they want their situation to remain the same. There can be benefits to staying in a limiting position with regard to health, including getting attention from other people. That is why you must be very honest with yourself about what you gain from retaining a limitation. And, unfortunately, some patients wear their diagnoses proudly, as if they had been awarded merit badges—the badge of hypertension, the badge of chronic pain, the badge of autoimmune disease. Sometimes it feels to me as if they want to be noticed by declaring all the diagnoses they have.

If you see having a diagnosis and disease to be meritorious and vali­dating, you will need to do some significant work to move toward a more healed state. You could start by using a fire ceremony to clear your thoughts and burn away unwanted aspects of a health issue, as described previously, and seeking guidance from an energy or shamanic worker and/ or a psychotherapist.

Often, a patient has lived so long in the story of herself with different diagnoses that it is hard for her to imagine herself without these issues. If you are asked to describe yourself to someone you are just meeting, and your description of yourself includes “I am 42 years old and suffer from a bad back and arthritis,” you are declaring those items to be part of your essential existence. It is quite different to say, “I am 42 years old and am working hard on living to the fullest, physically mentally, and spiritually.”

Choose Your Words Carefully

For a long time, one of my best friends would always start her con­versations with why she didn’t want to work anymore—because she was too old. What she meant was she had progressed far enough in her life to deserve retirement, but what she stated was that she was old. After a few years of these kinds of statements, and of me grumbling that she should stop saying those things, she developed an autoimmune disease that sig­nificantly limited her movement and functionality. She acted as if she was old and felt old.

Shifting your perception of disease and limitation so that it is a condi­tion you are living with, not a defining issue that is core to your identity, will go a long way in helping you shift your health challenge. Luckily, with many purposeful changes in her life, my friend’s autoimmune disease is in remission, and she is limber and lively. She no longer says things like, “I am too old.”

Choose your words carefully when you talk about your cur­rent state and your future. And remember to keep your thoughts in the realms of what I call the Maximum Medicine Mind Matrix—that is, make sure they are expanded, transformed, and powerful.

Exercise: Drawing a New “Story”

To begin losing the story from the past that has kept you on a certain path, try this writing and drawing exercise. You will need a large piece of paper, at least 14 by 17 inches. You also can tape a few sheets of letter-size paper together. Turn the paper so that the longer side is horizontal. Gather some colored pencils, crayons, or markers you can use for drawing.

  • Next, enter sacred space. Remember to ask and allow Spirit and/or spirit helpers to assist you in this work. Set an intention for your transformation.

  • When you’re ready, draw a stick figure on the left third of the paper. Leave at least an inch free along the bottom of the paper. Then, draw a fire in the center of the paper—it can be a firepit, a candle with flame, or whatever else you choose to depict this element of transformation. Color your fire to show its power and beauty. 

  • Next, draw a stick figure on the right side of the paper. Along the bottom of the paper draw a horizontal line, which will be a timeline, and label today’s date under the stick figure on the left.

  • Think about all the issues challenging you from the physical, mental, or spiritual realms, and write them around the figure on the left side. This is the current you. Use color, words, and symbols to indicate the issues that are impacting you. Feel each issue as you draw or write it. For instance, if you have high blood pressure as an issue, you might write about it, placing words all around the stick figure on the left, which represents your present self, because you feel this health problem affects every part of you. You might draw your head in red, or perhaps black, when you recall the headaches you sometimes get. Surround the stick figure by drawing and/or writing about every issue distressing you.

  • Keeping your energies in the sacred space and working from the place of your Higher Self, look at your drawing, and focus on one issue at a time. Consider how this issue has impacted you and how you would like it to change. As you think about the change you would like to experience, draw a representation of that issue moving into the fire and then being burned away and transmuted. Perhaps you will draw a line from the issue near the stick figure on the left to the fire, or perhaps you’ll draw a swirl of red and black representing high blood pressure that moves into the fire. As you do this, feel the issue changing. Feel the forces of the Universe making a powerful shift.

  • Next, underneath the fire, on the timeline, mark a time when you want this health issue to be gone or resolved. Two days? One month? Six weeks? Remember, you might be experiencing some benefit to having a health challenge, such as having others take care of you, validating your belief that you belong in your family because many relatives have the same challenge, and so on. You may need some time to give up that benefit and find other ways to gain assistance or validation.

  • Next, to add to the energetics of transmutation, you’re going to eliminate the issue on the paper. Draw or write over the issue, place a slash through it, color over it, or maybe draw a cloud around it and imagine the cloud carrying it away as it floats upward. Do this for each issue. Mark on the timeline when you expect each issue to be gone, and on your drawing, as you did before, place each issue in the fire. Be sure to feel the energy of erasing, of dissolving, of releasing. Perhaps you will draw the fire brighter and bigger as you intuit its transformative power.

  • Finally, look at the stick figure on the right. This is the transformed you. Note what colors you used to draw it. How do they make you feel? Do the colors make you feel more joyful or inspired? Notice the freedom you feel in your body, mind, and spirit as you draw the improved you. Take note of how this new you appears and how you feel looking at them. Lighter, maybe?

  • Pay attention to whether you bring any old issues forward into the new version of you. If you do, do not despair. You may want to repeat this exercise. Many issues are deep seated and take more awareness and intention to clear in a meaningful way, and you may need the practice of working in sacred space to evoke the most powerful shifts.

  • When you are finished, please be sure to offer gratitude to the energies that joined you, including your Higher Self and awareness, and to close sacred space. You may wish to post this drawing in a place where you can reflect on it. Keeping the images of the shifts in the forefront of your mind will maintain your intention and the energies you worked with.

Copyright ©2023. All Rights Reserved.
Adapted with permission of the publisher,
Findhorn Press, an imprint of Inner Traditions Intl..

Article Source: Maximize Your Healing Power

Maximize Your Healing Power: Shamanic Healing Techniques to Overcome Your Health Challenges
by Sharon E. Martin. Foreword by Carl Greer.

book cover: Maximize Your Healing Power by Sharon E. Martin.For more than 20 years, Dr. Sharon E. Martin has been blending allopathic medicine with ancient shamanic knowledge to help her patients not only heal but also increase their vitality. In this practical guide to her Maximum Medicine program, Dr. Martin shows how understanding the energetics behind health imbalances and applying shamanic and energy medicine techniques can shift not only our perspective but our health, change the course of illness, and allow us to increase our life force.

Presenting a clear, stepwise approach to attaining mastery of your health through many case studies as well as simple practices and methods to gain control over illness, Dr. Martin shows how anyone can support their own healing and experience being more fully alive.

Click here for more info and/or to order this paperback book. Also available as a Kindle edition.

About the Author

photo of Sharon E. Martin, M.D., Ph.D.Sharon E. Martin, M.D., Ph.D., graduated from Johns Hopkins School of Medicine and is a board-certified physician of internal medicine with a doctorate in physiology. She is a graduate of the Healing the Light Body curriculum of the Four Winds Society and the host of two radio shows, Maximum Medicine and Sacred Magic, aired on the Transformation Talk Radio network. 

Visit her website at DrSharonMartin.com