Eight Spiritual Universal Principles in the Art of Practice
By Laura Fine, H.H.P., M.F.T. degree, M.A., A.E.A.
As hands-on healers, massage therapists, body workers, we have tremendous responsibility and great opportunity to provide our client’s with an experience of touch that can have a profound impact on their physical, emotional, mental and spiritual health. This experience begins the moment the client sets up the appointment. The energetic anticipation on the part of both therapist and client has already begun to affect the chemistry that will occur when the client arrives in the therapy room.
The greatest preparation we can make for this transaction lies in the self-care that we provide for our own mind/body/spirit. Our self-comfort level is the resonance that will be felt and responded to by each client. Some clients are more comfortable for us than others. The ones with whom we find ourselves stuck and uncomfortable can provide a teaching about a limitation that we may have. If the client is bossy and demanding, and my reaction is one of confusion or defensiveness, this client may be providing me an opportunity to recognize that I may need to reinforce or strengthen my boundaries. If the client is complaining and needy, perhaps my reaction is to become hard hearted or impatient. This client may be offering me an opportunity to increase my compassion or set limitations. If a client never gives me any feedback, and I feel frustrated or insecure, this client may be teaching me detachment and how to stay in the present moment letting go of results.
Each challenging situation that comes my way can be an opportunity for self-exploration and the cultivation of spiritual qualities within, if I take to time to explore it as such. The more I personally cultivate these values, the more they resonate within my own auric field, the field that is intuitively experienced by each client from the moment they book their appointment with me. The list below of spiritual qualities are not just qualities but powers. Their vibrations purify the heart, mind and physiology and become a lively healing resonance in the energy field of the person who cultivates them. They are a crucial ingredient for the depth of healing that each session can provide, no matter what technique you may be incorporating.
1.Humility - The quality of humility allows the therapist to hold an open mind and heart. It manifests in our ability to look with awe and wonder at each person or client, holding the recognition that we will never fathom the entirety of the mystery of this person who stands before us. It contains deep respect for the mystery of the healing process itself, and an understanding that there is a force greater than ourselves guiding the healing process. As therapist and client come together, the therapist holds the awareness and harmonic of this understanding in the forefront of her/his mind. The energetic dynamic of that force invites a profound level of silence and space in the room. It softens stress, anxiety and harmonizes the mental body.
2.Purity - The therapist is not only a healer but an example. That is why whatever form of care we are giving to our clients, we must continue to give to ourselves. Receiving treatments from qualified therapists who will be affective mirrors for us are important to keep us growing. If we have become lax in our self-care we may need support and encouragement to continue our growth. Purification of the body through healthy organic foods, exercise, right thinking and right association creates an increasing quality of purity in our energy field. As we purify, we increase the frequency range of vibration that we can sustain while working on another. The transference of energy is the essence of all forms of hands-on bodywork, but it will only be as affective as the level of purification held by the practitioner.
3.Compassion - Where we lack compassion for another is where we lack compassion for ourselves. When impatience, frustration, anger, or negativity of any kind arises, we have the opportunity to deeply examine our internal buried pains. Oftentimes a mentor, supervisor, therapist, trusted friend or family member can assist us in taking a courageous look at our shortcomings. When we can feel detachment and compassion simultaneously, we know we have made spiritual progress. Often, we can feel one or the other, but find it more challenging to embody both together. This awareness and ability is a conscious leap of growth as we grow in our ability to control our impulsive reactivity. The reward is sweet loving detachment that will be deep relieving for ourselves and therefore our client.
4.Integrity - Integrity challenges me to place principles first. In a society that is inundated with
stimulus, immediate gratification, materialism, fear of not being enough or having enough, integrity can be a challenge to apply to our daily lives. We may harbor fears about not having enough clients to keep financially afloat, what or how to charge if a client is late or doesn’t show up, what to do if a client is also a friend, etc. I often times will use the simple question, “Is this choice best for the client, or best for me?” Sometimes the answer can be that the choice is best for both, if not it is my responsibility to choose what is best for the client if it is morally within my belief system. Where integrity comes into play is how I react to the choices that are made. Am I defensive, hurt, fearful? Am I deeply honest about my choices, or am I rationalizing? Oftentimes integrity includes boundaries that may be difficult to assert, saying no, or saying yes to situations that may be uncomfortable but selfless and therefore invitational to my growth.
5.Forgiveness - This quality is essential for spiritual growth. We are all imperfect, except for those very few God realized Saints who are our Source for inspiration and example. The quality of forgiveness begins with the self, and only from there can extend outward to others. Wherever we harbor resentment, anger, and bitterness for another, we harbor some hidden aspect of self-hatred. This component within must be addressed in order to reconcile and expand our capacity for healing others. Often this is a process that we have not been educated about how to tackle. I have found one of the most affective methods of achieving self-forgiveness is through sharing the specifics of my hidden pain, resentments or hurts with another, preferably a neutral witness. It is important that the witness can listen without judgment, and preferably without comment. The sharing itself can be healing enough.
6.Innocence - This quality is something that we all admire and enjoy in babies and young children. The reason that we recognize it within them is because it is still alive within us. However, over time, it may have receded into the far reaches of our style and personality. It is important that we continue to cultivate, rescue and protect this internal attribute as our modern day culture has deadened it out of so many of us. Innocence is essential to building faith, faith that a higher power does exist, that our life has a purpose that is good, that the inherent nature within others and ourselves is positive and not negative. A lifetime of hurts and disappointments is enough to harden the best of us. As we re-cultivate our innocence we must be careful to protect it through right association. If we continually expose ourselves to crude environments, language and behavior, we will cultivate those qualities in ourselves. If we expose ourselves to positive, loving, nurturing environments and associations we will cultivate those internal qualities.
7.Gratitude - As Ophrah says, “Have an attitude of gratitude. When I find myself complaining and critical I remind myself to make an ‘attitude shift.’ Spiritual principle is about distinguishing between acknowledging reality and the challenges of daily living while seeking solutions and complaining, criticizing or becoming disheartened and apathetic. If you speak with anyone who has come close to death you may find that they have a great awareness of the reality of how short our time is in this human body. In our darkest moments, seeking gratitude brings extraordinary power to the spirit.
8.Love - With the development of the above qualities, our capacity for love will naturally expand. Love begins by internally feeling good about oneself. Our connection to our self-esteem, self-confidence, self-purpose all contains components that generate a sense of self-love. If we are lacking in one of these areas there is probably an internal corner we don’t feel good about. It is important that we address this area. The process of self-exploration itself usually boosts our good feelings about ourselves. Love grows out of understanding the nature of life. Love is limitless and we have the opportunity to increasingly expand in this capacity. The sweetness of love is highly attractive and palpable to anyone who crosses our path. If you wish to increase your capacity for love, practice smiling.
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