Spring is in the air and with it comes an innate need to clean and declutter your emotional and spiritual world. Intuitive psychologist and author Susan Apollon shows you how to find inner peace and let the sun shine in.
It happens every spring. As sunlight reawakens tiny buds and fresh breezes dust the fields with lilacs, a strange compulsion kicks us out of our winter stupor. We actually want to clean. Floors suddenly seem grimy and corners cobwebby. The cluttered basement starts to really bug us. Even that previously insurmountable task—window washing—sounds like a good way to spend a Saturday. Intuitive psychologist Susan Apollon says our annual spring cleaning frenzy is more than mere tradition: It's the manifestation of a primal urge for renewal on a deeper level.
"We have a deep need to mimic the earth's own rebirthing cycle by cleaning floors, decluttering closets, and airing out rooms," says Apollon, author of Touched by the Extraordinary: An Intuitive Psychologist Shares Insights, Lessons, and True Stories of Spirit and Love to Transform and Heal the Soul (Matters of the Soul, 2005, ISBN: 0-9754036-4-8, $19.95). "And while a pristine, life-affirming home is a nice by-product of this urge, you shouldn't stop there. No matter how organized and spotless your physical world may be, it won't matter if your soul is cluttered with emotional debris."
In other words, it's time to embrace "spring cleaning" for your spirit. Apollon says spiritual cleansing and healing can and should be done all year long. But when you're in a "decluttering" sort of mood already, it just feels easier and more natural to focus on trashing those spiritual bad habits and on making room for new ones that will lead to healing and joy on every level.
What exactly is spiritual healing? Apollon says it's about balancing our thoughts, feelings, beliefs, and actions. It's about becoming whole. Healing takes place when we reclaim our power, wisdom, or spirit, which we often bury during the process of life, and when we reconnect with our soul or higher self, as well as with the Universe or God.
On a more practical level, it means learning to live in such a way that you don't spend all your time fretting about the future, worrying about your kids, or obsessing over health issues. And it means coming to a place where you refuse to settle for a job, a relationship, a lifestyle—a life—that doesn't fulfill you.
"We are healing spiritually when we accept and align all the parts of ourselves in a way that allows us to genuinely feel we are being true to ourselves, or whole, or complete," Apollon says. "We get to feel an authentic connection with our higher self and lower self, which also enables us to feel more at peace, as well as more confident in our worth and wisdom. It is knowing that we are so much more powerful than we ever believed; it is knowing that we are connected with something much greater than ourselves."
Understanding the Law of Attraction
Spiritual healing happens when we work with the Law of Attraction, which is basically an understanding that energy attracts like energy. Apollon explains it this way: Given that everything is energy and vibrates, and given the Law of Attraction, wherever we are vibrationally, we attract to us experiences of a similar level of vibration. What we choose to focus on (thoughts, images, beliefs) causes us to vibrate at a particular level, resulting in either good or not good feelings. Focusing on thoughts or images that cause us to feel relatively good or better will enable us to be at a higher level energetically and, consequently, will draw to us a higher level of vibrational experience.
In other words, when you worry about your job, your grades, your children, your health—and that is what you do most of the time—your dominant energetic level is quite low. Being in this state causes you to experience events and situations which are of equally low vibrations.
"Everything we desire is available to us, if we can just get out of our own way," asserts Apollon. "We put our own stumbling blocks in our own path, by way of our attachment to our negative or low energy thoughts, images, concerns, unresolved issues, our inability to forgive and release old feelings of anger, judgment, and pain, etc. Suggestions such as lighten up, let go and surrender, detach and move on all represent appropriate ways to energetically shift to a better place."
The trick, of course, is to become conscious and aware of how we are feeling in order to allow ourselves to do the work of cleaning up (or out) our spiritual closets and bringing in what feels energetically better. This allows us to attract to us wonderful things and experiences that we want—our hopes and dreams—rather than those things and experiences we don't want.
To do this we need to be really clear about our intentions, says Apollon. We need to decide what it is that we intend to do or make happen in our lives that will make us feel good or better (happy, satisfied, joyful, peaceful). Once we have our intentions in mind, we can give them power and help to create them by giving ourselves permission to really focus on them.
Practice Your ABCs
Once you have clarity regarding your intentions, it's time to practice what Apollon calls "the Art of your ABCs." Intertwined with the ABCs technique is another one, which she refers to as the "Face, Embrace, and Replace" method. Here's how it works:
• A is for AWARENESS and ACKNOWLEDGMENT. Become aware of your thoughts and images at the "head" level that do not feel good at the heart or belly level. Here, you're "Facing" what makes you feel bad.
Put your hand on your heart or belly and ask yourself, Am I feeling good (or okay) or not good at this moment? If your answer is "not good," put the same hand on your forehead and ask yourself, What is my thought, picture, or image that makes me not feel good?
Now, take time to Acknowledge or "Embrace" the picture or thought. Give yourself permission to really feel the pain associated with your thought or image stored deep within you. Kick, scream, or cry it out—for a few moments, or more, if needed, but not too much more, if possible.
• B is for BREATH and BREATHING OUT YOUR PAIN. Learn to use the Gift of Breath and then use your ability to lift yourself energetically to a higher level of well-being. Take three deep breaths. As you breathe in, visualize yourself breathing in the colorful and magnificent energy of the Universe or God. (Yes, actually give it a color so you can "see" it more readily.) Watch and feel this powerful healing energy coming in and filling your body with amazing warm, relaxing energy, causing you to feel so relaxed and heavy and at the same time . . . so light that you are aware of your body shifting up energetically.
• C is for CHOICE and CHOOSING THOUGHTS AND IMAGES THAT FEEL GOOD or BETTER. Here's where you "Replace" your negative energy with positive energy. You choose thoughts and images that lighten your vibrations and enable you to allow in those experiences you have viewed as your intentions, hopes, and dreams. Every moment is about choice. Be conscious of how you are feeling, moment by moment, and choose to focus on anything and everything that brings you relief and feels better or good, including your kids, pets, loved ones, or your favorite funny video. (NOTE TO EDITOR: See attached tipsheet for some healing choices.)
"Practice your ABCs and Face, Embrace, and Replace often," advises Apollon. "They are the tools that lead to healing."
If you're thinking it all sounds a bit too touchy-feely for you, don't. Apollon says these spiritual healing techniques work, even if you're a cynic. Feeling good is your birthright. Indeed, you've probably experienced the essence of spiritual healing at some point in your life—when you're so immersed in a project that you lose all sense of time and place, for instance, or when you're with friends or family and feel a surge of joy and gratitude and "rightness."
"Spiritual healing is often experienced as a state of harmony, balance, greater well-being, and joyfulness," says Apollon. "Athletes call it 'the zone.' It is an awareness that in our being authentic and unconditionally loving, we are in a sense able to connect with all others who are experiencing the same thing. Being at peace and authentic, we can and do align with the same energy of others, drawing this equally balanced energy to us. And that's when we start to get the life we long for on a deep 'soul' level."
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About the Author:
Susan Apollon is an intuitive psychologist, psychotherapist, and healer. For more than two decades, she has specialized in treating children and adults who are traumatized, ill (dealing with cancer and other life-threatening illnesses), grieving, and/or dying. As a master of several healing and energy modalities, a researcher of mind, consciousness, energy, and metaphysics, a student and teacher of intuition, and a survivor of her own challenge with breast cancer, she brings wisdom and compassion to those with whom she works.
An award-winning author, Susan wrote and recorded the book and 11-audio CD package Touched by the Extraordinary: An Intuitive Psychologist Shares Insights, Lessons, and True Stories of Spirit and Love to Transform and Heal the Soul. She is also a contributing author, along with Mark Victor Hansen and Les Brown, to 101 Great Ways to Improve Your Life. Her articles have appeared in newspapers and magazines across the country as well as celebrated Internet journals and websites. She has been a frequent guest on national radio and television shows.
Susan believes in the wisdom and capability of each human being to achieve self-mastery. She speaks passionately to organizations and groups about everyone's ability to live full, satisfying lives, be happy, create their own miracles, and heal themselves. Her workshops and seminars provide a blend of her contagious enthusiasm with her tried and true methods and interventions for healing and creating a joyful and healthy life.
Susan's love of medicine and healing has its roots in her lineage; she comes from a family of physicians. She has been married for more than forty years to her husband, Warren Apollon, an orthodontist, and is the proud mom of two adult children, Rebecca, an emergency room physician, and David, a management consultant.
About the Book:
Touched by the Extraordinary: An Intuitive Psychologist Shares Insights, Lessons, and True Stories of Spirit and Love to Transform and Heal the Soul (Matters of the Soul, 2005, ISBN: 0-9754036-4-8, $19.95) is available at bookstores nationwide and from major online booksellers.
For more information, please visit www.touchedbytheextraordinary.com
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