When we are ill we spend 95 per cent of our efforts trying to alleviate our symptoms. This is an understandable response. Whether we use conventional or alternative treatments, we still take something outside of ourselves, and consume or apply it, hoping that it will remove the pain.
I have no problem with diminishing pain, but we often miss the single most important tool in our possession. I am talking about the technique of applying acceptance, in a focused manner, to the underlying fear which is associated with the symptom. This is not about simply saying that you believe in a principle. I am talking about sitting or lying down, closing your eyes, breathing deeply…then when the fear which is associated with the symptom comes up (as it invariably will), allowing your breathing to become more relaxed and more open and deeper. Your fear will resist this. Your fear wants to hold on. It is rigid and clingy. This is how it fosters illness. It does not want you to touch the deeper issues. (Actually, you don’t even have to consciously understand the specifics of what those issues are; the technique works fine just by breathing into the fear).
This is a practice. You can call it meditation but that may be too grand a word for it. You are just breathing, and when the fear associated with the dis-ease comes up, you don’t run away, you let yourself get even more relaxed and breathe ever more deeply right smack into the middle of it. It isn’t easy. It is like being lost in the woods and you want to run like Hell in any direction. But you only end up further lost if you do that.
You may well want to do this several times a day in the beginning! Do it for as long as you can. (Five minutes works fine for me). Your fear will try to stop you, but that’s just what fear does. When it’s too much for you, stop and do something else.
Encompass the fear with your breath, deeper and deeper. In this way you are getting at the root of the problem. Of course we want our symptoms to go away, who wouldn’t? But we don’t focus on the symptom; we focus on slowly but surely accepting the fear by breathing deeply into it. We don’t fight it. We just breathe and it evaporates on its own. It truly does when there is no longer any resistance. This is just the way it works. Your greatest “weapon” against fear is pure acceptance. Your breath is the vehicle that takes you deeper. You can do this while still using any allopathic or alternative approach you want, but I have found that it is the single most important tool I have. To me it lies at the core of the healing process.