I sat there, deeply uncomfortable in my body as I prepared to unzip my skin in front of 12 other people. We were gathered at a magical retreat in Sedona, working on our certifications in Holistic Counseling. I had volunteered to be a patient in a group practice session, a unique opportunity to be fully witnessed in my process of unfolding. I was ready to confront the invisible bandages keeping me from stepping more fully into my true self.

  • I wanted resolution on the underlying thread of beliefs that have held the reigns thus far.
  • I wanted to know what it means to whole-heartedly love myself. Not through shallow and fabricated indulgences, rather through acknowledging the divinity within.
  • I want to feel the Oneness again – not just as an idea, but as a visceral experience.
  • I want more days where I walk through the world in complete awe and humility, with bliss at my fingertips.
  • I wanted to heal my skin and digestive issues at the root.

I had the blissful experience of living in my true, whole, magnetic, and potent self for a period of time, just after my kundalini shakti awakening 2 years ago. A simple meditation had spontaneously brought about a profound spiritual awakening that shifted everything in my life. But without unwinding the knots of my old beliefs, the initial high of full alignment could not last. It slowly faded as I slipped back into old patterns. But I have been to the other side, and I want to do the work to get back there.  

I’m no stranger to the power and vulnerability of a group setting. Each experience requires a conscious surrendering to my curiosity and tuning into the presence of the Witness to anchored me in the courage to open up. I tuned in and tried (unsuccessfully) to relax. I shifted in my chair where my body felt frozen, sweating bullets as the questions came and my ego fought desperately for its life. Experience has taught me that moving into my discomfort is an opportunity for great growth, whereas hiding from it weakens my agency. I surrendered to the experience, desiring full access to my own power. There was nothing charged about the questions. On the contrary, they were incredibly simple and graceful, devoid of all judgment. They gently encouraged me to follow my beliefs down to their bedrock, layer by layer.

It’s hard to comprehend the vast number of assumptions and false beliefs we operate on before exploring ourselves this way. Once revealed, they’re much like a delicate house of cards.

I was held in deep unconditional love the entire time, which in this world is a rare and beautiful experience. Despite the painful truths that I encountered, it was a powerfully positive time. I opened my heart to ease my own healing. I cried until I shook to the core, shaking loose my own shackles. I laughed with my belly at the irony of realizing I held the key to those shackles the whole time. I was humbled by the humanity of my inner trickster that allowed me to evade the truth for so long. I sat in wonder and I had a number of ah-ha moments with crystal clarity. Finally, I experienced relief when I saw where I could choose to let go, relax, and step into the deepest integrity of being true to myself. I learned how to place the keystone in the temple of my life.

My work is not done (and it never will be), but the path is much clearer in front of me, and I know how to choose with integrity. Every healer must first walk through the fire themselves. “Physician heal thyself” is a basic tenet in Naturopathic Medicine, and I am forever a humble student. My body yearns for me to do the work. It calls to me through subtle symptoms, dreams, intuition, “coincidences,” downloads, and a pure knowing that I cannot explain. I have released the toxic impetus to explain it.

A lack of physical wellbeing is the soul’s call for deeper integrity and awareness. We are not victims to our bodies, rather powerful receivers of truth and magnetized towards realignment with our higher selves. We are not lacking a specific cocktail of supplements or medications to “fix us.” True vitality comes from within. The further we stray from our unconditional I AM, the louder the body reflects this lack of integrity through illness. Continuing to push around the physical boulders of symptoms will never heal the root cause of illness because the physical body is the last place where this lack of alignment shows up. Only we can truly heal the deepest layers within ourselves. We do this by gaining awareness of the underlying beliefs and behaviors that govern our mental, emotional, and physical health. My purpose is to continue to do this work with those who are ready to brave their inner world and set themselves free. 

I am working towards my certification in Holistic Counseling as a way to weave mind-body-soul work into my programs and retreatsIt is a path for learning where we can choose to relinquish our unconscious, knee-jerk compensations that no longer serve the higher self. We gain clarity on how our physical body is simply mirroring our mental and emotional experience in the world, and healing the root cause means addressing this first. Modern medicine has divorced itself entirely from our spirituality in the name of “science”. Science and spirituality are really two peas in a pod, both recognizing the interconnectedness of our world that exists beyond the perceivable material world. There is no conflict between the two when we recognize that both are aimed at being grounded in an experience of reality that is independent of cultural and historical context. In their purest forms, both are guided by unadulterated curiosity, without personal or political interest attached to the outcome. 

Author: Dr. Emma Andre