I attended a wonderful workshop with the author of ‘Relationship as a Spiritual Pathway’ with Jacqueline M Longstaff this week, and I’d like to share some of the wisdom I gained over there. I am not done reading the book yet, so there may be more later. She spoke of a lot of things, but as the title suggests, I’m going to be writing about one aspect of the workshop – the healing space.
The workshop was about how to use relationships as a ladder for spiritual growth. When two people come together in a relationship they might open up, letting their vulnerabilities show and creating potential for deep healing. After the initial ‘honeymoon’ phase is over, cleansing begins, and both people can help each other heal and become more complete beings. Commitment in such a relationship is very important since once the healing begins, a lot of things come up and if the partner was to walk away at this point it would leave the other quite devastated.
While Jacqueline spoke of the healing space with respect to a relationship, I’d like to discuss it from an individual point of view, as most people I interact with haven’t yet found a partner who can help them heal and become whole. A healing relationship doesn’t have to imply one only with a partner, therapist or guru. Before we seek all these, we need a healing relationship with ourselves.
Working from the heart was one of the first things we were taught in the workshop and I found this to be tremendously healing. She would just play some heart music and ask us to meditate on the heart, breathing from the heart (to elaborate, imagine a nose IN your heart, breathing, and then do away with the nose). Click here to listen to what she played. Infact, I suggest that you stop right now, listen to this song as you breathe from the heart and then continue reading.
When in a relationship, before discussing anything important, it is essential to spend some time breathing from the heart, and then speaking from the heart to the other person. This completely changes the energies of the discussion and makes both people more receptive to each other. When we open up to each other, suppressed emotions come up, and may result in the person experiencing cleansing symptoms, such as anger, depression, erratic behaviour, etc. We have to learn to accept each other’s emotional patterns, but never make the mistake of thinking of them as real. Remind yourself that these are merely passing phases in a healing journey.
Now look at the same concept from the point of view of being alone. In these rapidly changing times, most people on earth are experiencing intense healing and growth, and are lost in the search of someone else to provide us that healing space, that love and energy that we need to heal and get back up. To allow someone else to heal, we need to respect their needs, love them deeply and be willing to hold them through the difficult time. To allow ourselves to heal, we need to respect our own needs, love ourselves deeply, and be willing to accept every bit of the misery we put ourselves through, on this healing journey.
This is difficult when you’re feeling weak and broken yes, but only when you are not centered in the heart. If we only spend some time everyday breathing from the heart and letting ourselves just be, we would find this journey getting easier by leaps and bounds. Contrary to normal circumstances where most people are busy exhausting themselves by resisting their emotions and situations, this gives us space to heal and allows us to nurture ourselves. It also creates a deep acceptance of our own situation and reduces dependency on loved ones for emotional support.
It is natural if you feel your understanding is incomplete when you read this the first time. I suggest practicing breathing in the heart and observing your thoughts and feelings for a week to integrate the idea of a healing space into your life.
I found music very useful in this journey and here are a few more tracks that you could play when you’re breathing in through your heart.
Ek Omkar – Snatam Kaur
Long Time Sun – Snatam Kaur
The Flame of Transmutation and Freedom – Erik Berglund