Dr Akilah – Celestial Healing Wellness Center

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Category Archives: Emotional Health

Exercise (Not Exorcise) Your Demons


By Lisa CypersKamenHarvesting Happiness

We all have demons: things that we fear, loathe, avoid at all costs, or feel guilty or angry about. And demons can be lurking anywhere. You’re trying to lose weight but can’t give up French fries. You just can’t bring yourself to let a call go unanswered during your family vacation. You’re afraid that a mistake you’ve made has pushed away someone you love. You have other compulsions that you just can’t control. These types of destructive habits keep us awake at night and breed negative energy from our head to our toes.

Personal demons can take many different forms, but they all have one thing in common: they seem to multiply when we’re lacking a healthy diversion. So, how do you keep your demons from occupying the prime real estate in your mind? There’s always the religious practice of exorcising the demons away (made controversial – and somewhat spooky – by countless Hollywood portrayals over the years). It has been practiced in some religions for centuries, sometimes with reportedly successful results, other times not so much. Exorcisms might work for some, but there’s also a much simpler route to ridding your inner demons: the gym. When you feel your demons taking control, exercise rather than exorcise them away.

You’ve heard the story about someone bursting into tears during an intense yoga workout, and you undoubtedly have a super-fit friend who always goes on a run when something is bothering him. (You usually reach for the chocolate). Even though it pains you to try to emulate your gym-happy friend (and you shouldn’t, in most circumstances!), take his lead in this case. When your inner demons are launching an attack against your psyche, the best thing to do is exercise them out of your body. Press, curl, lunge, lift, rollerblade, stretch or run those nagging thoughts out of your consciousness and into the open. You don’t have to be a bodybuilder; often, fifteen minutes of physical activity is all it takes to send your demons from your mind. And if your troublesome thoughts are purely emotion-based, exercise has an even better chance of helping you conquer them. Study after study has shown that exercise is often the missing link that connects our emotional and physical states and brings a sense of harmony. Demons or not, we could all use a little more harmony in our lives!

Happiness is an inside job

Happiness Strategy:

The next time your demons are taking over, set aside fifteen minutes for physical activity. It can be a series of deep stretches, a quick run around the block, or anything else that you find physically satisfying. While you’re engaging in that activity, do your best to use that negative energy as fuel for the physical activity you’re performing. Make a mental note of how your mind and body feel, and try to implement physical activity the next time your demons are calling.


Check out this video by Dr. Akilah El as she explains her personal experience of exercising to exorcise the demons. 

What Top Life Coaches Are Doing from 6 to 8 A.M

Wakeup-SunriseBy Jane Bianchi, REDBOOK

Ease into waking up 
Does your alarm clock honking at a nearly eardrum-shattering volume really make you want to get out of bed? Chances are, it has you shoving your pillow over your head and hitting the snooze button. Newsflash: There’s a less traumatic way to rise and shine. “I wake up to soothing music or nature sounds that gradually intensify,” says Lev Natan, a life coach at The Medicine Tree Center in New York’s Hudson Valley. “I make a playlist. The first song might be a gentle flute tune, the trickle of a stream, or the ‘om’ chant. The second song might be more energizing, such as rhythmic drumming.” Banish the default iPhone alarm that greets you at 7 a.m., and scroll through other options – or consider shelling out the 99 cents for a more soothing tone. 

Ask yourself one question 
As soon as you wake up, assess how you feel about life in the context of the day ahead. Then put your answer on a scale from one – “life is miserable” – to 10 – “I love my life!” This strategy works well for Samantha Sutton, a life coach with the Handel Group in New York City. “If my score is an eight or lower, I schedule a call with a trusted friend so I can vent and get advice,” she says. “If my score is a nine or 10, I sit still for 30 seconds and cherish the feeling.” 

Remind yourself what you need this year 
Each January, Janet Harvey, a life coach in Edmonds, WA, comes up with a few two-word “intention statements,” and writes each on an index card. It’s not too late to set your intentions for 2013, so go ahead and make like it’s New Year’s. Harvey uses “abundant balance” to remind herself that it’s okay to decline to some requests and “harmonious pause” helps her remember to take a time-out and go for a walk outside whenever she feels frustrated. Each morning, she goes over her intention statements and journals how she’ll put them into practice that day. 

Look at a vision board 
Jairek Robbins, the San Diego-based life coach behind Jairek Robbins Companies, keeps and regularly updates a vision board, and stares at for one minute each morning. The bulletin board contains magazine tear-outs and Web print-outs of phrases, photos, and illustrations that signify what he hopes to achieve in life. “It has pictures of places that I want to visit, like Machu Picchu and Mount Kilimanjaro, and numbers that represent business goals, such as how many people I want to help this year,” he says. Whether yours involves thumbtacks or lives on Pinterest, stay focused on your goals with a collection of the words and images that inspire you. 

Nourish yourself 
“My 17-year-old daughter Alex and I have a routine,” says Jennifer Voss, a certified Martha Beck life coach in Knoxville, TN. “We can’t start the day without making and drinking a green smoothie for breakfast. The beverage is physically and mentally rejuvenating, and the morning tradition helps us make time for each other and bond emotionally.” Her magical mixture includes almond milk, spinach, kale, and fresh fruit like strawberries, blueberries, and bananas. Whatever you choose to sip – or nosh on – first thing, follow Voss’ lead and carve out time to connect with your family and your health first thing. 

Get centered 
“The most important thing that I do each morning is meditate,” says Janice Lewis, president of JaniceTime, a Chicago-based life coaching business. “At the moment, I’m using an audio-guided meditation by Susie Mantell called Your Present: A Half-Hour of Peace that I downloaded onto my iPod.” Each morning, she lies on her living room couch, crosses her arms on her chest, palms down, and then takes slow, deep breaths while listening to the instructions for at least 30 minutes. Even if you can’t spare that much time, a few moments of quiet-time can be incredibly beneficial. 

Read a stimulating book 
Are you an early riser? Debra Hickok, the life coach behind Boston-based Featherstone, gets up before her family, goes to her office, shuts the door, and relishes the sweet silence. There, she sits in a cushioned chair facing the window and reads philosophical teachings or reflective poetry for five to 10 minutes. “I love The Book of Awakening by Mark Nepo, which has a one-page passage dedicated to every day of the year,” she says. Her other favorites include works by Eckhart Tolle, Brené Brown, Rumi, and Pema Chodron. “They inspire me and provide a mental focus for my day.” 

Dissect your daily goals 
How often do you accomplish everything on your daily to-do list? If your answer – like many of ours – is “never,” then try this tip from Susan Fox, a life coach with A.I.M. High Coaching in the Bay Area. “Each morning, I break large projects that I’m working on into bite-sized, achievable daily goals,” she says. Instead of writing something vague on her daily calendar, like “handle marketing plan,” she’ll jot down something more specific, such as “edit final version of marketing email and send it to 10 people” – and then pencil it into a particular time slot. 


Here is a list of our links.

Which Emotions Amplify Your Back Pain?

backPAINouchBy Rhonda Gegaust

The back is made up of many muscles, but when we speak of back pain, we usually speak about the spine. The spinal column is a stacking of 33 vertebrae, distributed as follows: cervical, dorsal, lumbar and sacral. To simplify this I’m going to refer to these areas as lower, middle and upper back. What you are about to read is not to replace medical treatment. It is to open your mind to the possible emotional connection that may be causing or amplifying your back pain. Note it is important to always have any back pain checked by a medical doctor or a chiropractor.

Emotionally speaking, the back represents our support system. Problems with the back usually mean we feel we are not being supported. Dr. Milton Erickson was known for saying, “If you don’t pay attention…you pay with pain.” What message is your body trying to tell you? What emotions do you need to change to decrease or eliminate your back pain?

Upper Back Pain

The upper back has to do with feeling the lack of emotional support; feeling significant people in your life don’t understand you or support you. You may feel unloved or you may be holding back your love from someone. Upper back pain could also mean that you feel that somebody is always on your back.

By changing a belief that you are responsible for other people’s happiness, it can relieve pain in your upper back and neck. Do things for others from your heart, not from a place of feeling you have to do it or they won’t love you.

Gaining love of yourself will not only increase your happiness – you will be supported from the inside first.

Middle Back Pain

Emotionally speaking, pain in the middle back comes from feeling guilty about ‘stuff’ from the past. Perhaps you are afraid to explore your past? Maybe you are hiding what is back there? Do you feel stabbed in the back? Do you find yourself wanting to scream out, “Get off my back!”? 

In order to move freely into your future, you need to release the past anger and guilt and embrace your present and future with love in your heart.

Lower Back Pain

With today’s financial hard times, are your finances in a mess? Do you worry about them excessively? The lack of money, fear of not having enough, or fear of material loss may be the cause of your lower back bothering you. The amount of money you have has nothing to do with it. It’s the fear of lack of financial support, the fear of your own survival that amplifies the pain. 

Eliminating paralyzing guilt, clearing your past from anger and transforming your fear into personal power will help you gain control, well-being and find peace of mind you may long for in your life.  It can be done in very little time with Neuro-Linguistic Programming (NLP) techniques.


About the Author – Ronda Degaust is the author of How To Heal from Years of Criticism, Insults, Abuse & RejectionShe is a Break-thru Coach & International NLP Trainer. She teaches you how to release negative emotions to Maximize Your Life Potential. Find out more at her website www.lifepotential.ca or email her at breakthru@lifepotential.ca

It’s Time To Let Go…

theartoflettingGOBy Susan Harper Todd – WakeUp-World.com

A New Dawn is upon us… A New Way of Being… It is time …It is time to let go of all that is not real… It is time for us to stop being who we are not…It is time, now, for us just to be us! It is time to stop pretending to be something else and someone else to please other people or to fit in. It’s time to realise that there is no ‘one’ way to live our lives. To realise that there is no ‘right’ way to do anything…only our way. We do not have to meditate in a certain way, or even meditate at all…if it doesn’t feel right for us. We don’t have to ‘be’ spiritual in a certain way. We don’t have to ‘be spiritual’,because we already are. Just being us is the perfect thing to be – without trying!

We don’t have to be or do anything at all that we don’t want to do or if it doesn’t feel right for us. It’s time to understand that the right things for us are those things that feel right – those things that make us laugh, make us smile, bring us joy, make us feel wonderful! Those things we feel passionate about, that we really want to do. Those things that we LOVE. For this is truly who we really are – we are all of those things. And when we are doing and being these things we are honouring who we are. It’s time to let go of feeling guilty about enjoying ourselves and doing what we love because doing things we love is an expression of our real selves.

It’s time to stop listening to others and to start listening to us. It’s time to pay attention to what feels right for us in every area of our life. Because we are the only experts on us. No one else is. We are unique. One size does not fit all. There are no rules we should follow in order for us to be ‘us’, except ones we make for ourselves – because they feel right.

It’s time to start listening to our bodies, because only our own body can tell us what it needs to ‘feed’ it and to keep it healthy. We know whenever we eat or drink something whether it is good for us or not, by how it makes us feel. No one else can tell us this for they don’t know how our body feels. When someone tells us that a particular food or drink is good, or not, for us…that maybe true for them, but it certainly is not necessarily true for us. It’s time to let go of the thought that other people know what is best for us and to start asking ‘our selves’, our intuition, what is best for us. We do know…

Its time to start paying attention to how we feel about things instead of what we think about them. It’s time to stop listening to our mind and to stop taking notice of what the media tells us…because what the media is saying is not necessarily true for us. We can tell that by how it makes us feel. Does it make you feel fearful? If it does then it is not true for you! However if you keep focusing on it then it may well become true for you. Instead take your power back and focus instead on something better, more wonderful, something that feels good… Remember, the media’s job is to keep us in fear, because then we are more malleable , easier to control… They want us to keep listening to them, because the minute we stop doing that and start paying attention to ourselves instead, then we are in charge, not them…

Its time for us to stand up and be who we really are. It’s time to stop saying yes when we mean no. It’s time to put ourselves first and do those things that make us feel good, because when we do that, we feel so good that we want to do loving things for everyone around us. When we feel good the world feels good.

It’s time for us to step out of the old patterns that we have inherited from our ancestors. And we know what those are. They are patterns that have kept us small, unseen and unheard. They have made us feel unworthy and unimportant. They have made us feel that everyone matters but us and that it is our job to make everyone else feel that they matter… But that is not who we really are. And deep inside we know that. We really know that.

theartoflettingGO3Stand Up… Stand Tall… Look in the mirror… It’s time…. You can do this… You are not alone… Because it’s our time…it’s already  happening.

Its time to throw away the rule books that tell us how we should live our lives. All we need to do is to just be ‘us’. If we can just pay attention to how we are feeling in every moment, then we will start to know and understand that if we’re not feeling good, then that is our intuition, the greater part of who we are, giving us a message that we’re not doing the right thing for us in that moment…or maybe we’re not behaving in the best way we can… If we can just pay attention to that and know that when we arefeeling good we are being who we really are, the person we are born to be… then we’re doing what we’re here to do… To live our BEST life, to be the best we can be.

And by being us, by living in integrity as best we can, listening to our bodies and to how we feel, living intuitively as best we can, then we will walk towards everything we want in our lives.  It really is that simple.

It’s time to stop listening to other people and to listen to ourselves. We are the only ones that know what is best for ‘us’. No amount of books we read can tell us that. They can point us in the right direction, but we need to filter what they say through our own lens. The information in the books was true for the person who wrote it, but it doesn’t mean it’s true for you.

Its time to understand that the only things that are true for you are what feel true… You are the expert on you… Sure you’re not perfect and of course you will make mistakes finding out what IS true for you… but it’s only by trial and error, by making mistakes that you will find that out… If you stick to someone else’s rules then you will never find out who you really are… you’ll only know who you aren’t… and you won’t even know that, you’ll just ‘not feel right’ and you’ll still have that nagging feeling that there must be more to life than this.

It’s time to be brave…to climb out of the box… to do things differently…to throw away the rule books…to get to know YOU. You are perfect, amazing, wonderful, funny, brilliant… you may not know it…because it’s so long since you ever saw this version of you… But believe me you are all those things… I know it, because we all are… Remember how you were when you were a child? You knew you were all these things… It’s time to rediscover, to remember that version of you… no, to create an even better version of you… And now is the time to start…. 

       ”It’s time to be you like you’ve never been before

         It’s time to be you like only you can be

         To acknowledge your strength

         Your knowingness, your intuition

         It’s time to be YOU

         And that time is NOW!” 

If you’d like to learn more about tuning in to your intuition and living the life you were born to lead then sign up for my Newsletter. You can do that by clicking here. You’ll also get a free guided meditation “A Journey Within To Meet Your Inner Guide” plus a copy of my leaflet “10 things I wish I’d always known”.

I really appreciate your support and the fact that we’re all on the same page – in every sense of the word. Thank you!

Love Sue

Radical Forgiveness

forgivenessBy Jack Adam Weber – wakeup-world.com

I can hardly think of a more mysterious, complex, and too often elusive concept than forgiveness. Most of us have little trouble forgiving minor violations, a la don’t sweat the small stuff. Like being late for an appointment, or forgetting to take out the trash, or not calling someone back. I even wonder if we forgive these daily foibles as much as we just ignore them because on their own, they just don’t run deep or cause significant harm. But what about betrayal, conscious malevolence, or carelessness that costs us major heartache, upheaval, or financial loss? How do we wave the magic wand of forgiveness across a heart that has been hurt in deep, difficult, complex ways?

Forgiveness is a loaded concept, with bigger-than-life promise. It’s also advertised to be relatively easy. We are supposed to forgive, not only to release others from our upset and vengeance, but to free ourselves from suffering the pangs of resentment. There are visualizations to imagine the perpetrator in white light, breathing exercises to release injustices on the exhale, ritual gestures to give away our pain, all of which might help, or hinder our true passage to the elusive land of forgiveness. What is it to genuinely forgive, so that we end up feeling almost as though the incident never occurred? Is it to gradually forget, or merely grow away from what has been done to us, or others? Is it to empathize with and understand why someone else acted as they did? Does this heal the hurt in our hearts? Or is forgiveness—to the tune of a decision—of serious injustice, real betrayal, just a fantasy and not truly erased by wand-waving or easy exercises? 

Most of us have been deeply hurt, where forgiveness of others and ourselves takes center stage. Setting an intention to forgive by saying, “I forgive you,” can be helpful if we do to set a goal—as long as we recognize that there is a lot of hard work to reach that goal, and that the process is not linear but deeply circuitous. We discover forgiveness as transformation by negation, by embodying what forgiveness seems not to be.

When we are able to be deeply present with our pain, as gut-wrenching as it may be, we are able to enter the place of transformation, that of metaphorically dying to be reborn. This is to live with emotional honesty, to feel our feelings. It means that when we hurt, when we lose something significant, when we are betrayed, when we are disappointed or devastated, and forgiveness as resolution is in order, we take these feelings at face value. We feel that hurt and let it be until it is no longer, or until we can go no further or don’t want to go farther with it. The pain dissolves to whatever degree, as we are transformed. Indeed we could say that the energy of the pain is precisely that which changes and renews us, allowing us to forgive. And the corollary is true too: no pain, no gain. Forgiveness in this sense is not a process separate from the tough work of allowing ourselves to be transformed by the hurt we want to forgive. Forgiveness is the door that opens as a result of sitting with the injury of the hurt.

When we feel this hurt, we begin a process I call “dying to our pain.” This means that we surrender to heartache, rather than try to “perspective” or “talk ourselves out of it.” It is valuable to understand the whys of being hurt—why someone cheated on or  stole from us, broke a promise, acted with neglect or malice. We allow injustice and disappointment to change us, carry us down, teach us lessons about how to live and to care better, show us the places in ourselves where we have acted without integrity, how to better care for our hearts and the welfare of others. Feelings of shame, guilt, remorse, sadness, anger, rage, fear, and regret are common when we betray or are betrayed. These are difficult feelings to be with, so it’s no wonder we turn to easy forgiveness, instead of feeling these places that are the precursors for a full-bodied renewal. These trenches of hurt are the school of robust loving and the birthing grounds of genuine forgiveness—the unbidden light emerging from lots of hard inner work.

To forgive another, however, does not mean that we have to, or want to, continue to be in touch with them (him or her). If they have not changed, why put ourselves in harm’s way again? Sometimes the cost to leave a relationship with someone we have to forgive is greater than the cost of enduring the pain caused, such as with betrayal. It’s hard to know what the right decision is. We can begin the journey: embark on the process of accepting and healing our troubles, see where it takes us, how and if our mind changes, and assess as we go. It’s not easy and the journey requires us to get to know ourselves in a much more intimate way.

The degree to which we cannot feel “clear” of an injustice is the degree to which its still affects us. It is also possible that some pains never completely leave us. And this may not necessarily be a bad thing. If we feel strongly about a cause, this pain can fuel our activism for greater good. I am thinking about a Holocaust documentary I watched called “Elusive Justice,” about Jews who have made it their life’s work to track down and bring to justice Nazi war criminals that never faced prosecution.

I am particularly disturbed by the Holocaust, and this movie deeply moved me. It shined a new light on the notion of justice, revenge, and forgiveness—the former are not always bad and the latter not always entirely possible or entirely desirable. The pain of the atrocity allows these Jews to work for a greater good, the spiritual cause of rectifying history and the future, setting an example for appropriate punishment and morality. Whatever our stance with retribution and justice, at the very least, with profound injustice, forgiveness is complex.


In the face of betrayal, linear forgiveness might say, “I forgive you for knowingly investing the money I loaned to you in a stock you had no good sense would succeed.” Transformational forgiveness might say, “I am furious, I am sad, devastated actually, that you lost my money, and I am not sure how to proceed; I need to sit with it.” Or, “I am pissed and compromised because you acted selfishly, lied to me, and did not communicate your truth so to allow me the opportunity to make a decision to take care of my needs. I need to go day by day towards resolution.”

Linear forgiveness might say to your partner who cheats on you, “I love you; I forgive you. I will let this go.” Or, “We can go on as if this didn’t really happen. I bless you; may God make this right.” Maybe some people can really live this way and have it work for them. But it does not come close to the congruency and honesty I need to feel at home in my own skin. Transformational forgiveness, on the other hand, might say, “I love myself and I love you, so I will tell you how this feels in accord with how I understand the facts of the situation, and ask that you please help me get them right. This hurts, this really hurts. I am so sad. I am also pissed, I feel destroyed, and I don’t know how to look at you anymore. I will abide in my authentic feelings as a radical form of love, so to deepen my own heart and maybe be able to accept you into my life in a deeper way. But we’ll have to see how the dust settles, how I and you feel about it, and where those feelings and my intelligence take me.”

By feeling our real feelings, we are eventually able to let go of our hurt, rather than gloss over it with methods that merely help us avoid our heartache. When we have processed and been processed by our hurt, forgiveness comes naturally, though not usually easily, as a by-product of being genuine, emotionally and intellectually honest, each step of the way. This way, forgiveness “finds us,” so to speak, instead of our merely expressing what we think forgiveness is, as a predetermined idea.

Transformational forgiveness like this is also paradoxical, in that it does not bypass your emotions to arrive at a “spiritual” outcome, but instead embraces the hurt you want to forgive. It seeks to release the hurt by accepting it, rather than dismissing or skirting it. We can also discover paradoxical compassion, truth, faith, sacredness, strength, humility, and magic by embracing their apparent opposites. But not as an idea—as a fierce and radical process! This is the rich, powerful, courageous, surprising, comprehensively loving, deeply meaningful way home.

We each have our own threshold for breaking open. Some of us will allow ourselves to grieve completely until grief is done with us, until it cleans us out and delivers us to large-heartedness and deeply sourced, unbidden joy. Others allow a little sadness, then shut down, move on—to a new lover, a new job, a new city, a new anything. I am reminded of the line from Mary Oliver’s stunning poem “No Voyage:” 

“Men never go somewhere, they only leave wherever they are, when the dying begins.”

The degree to which we are willing to be with our own heartache, and be changed by it, is the degree to which we can engage in transformational forgiveness. Here forgiveness is not the idealized, contrived goal, but the inadvertent outcome of being authentic and true to the present reality of our hearts and minds. When we deny difficulty, we begin to “die,” even though we might try to compensate with a happy persona. On the other hand, ask us to spend a couple hours alone with our eyes closed feeling into our bodies to ascertain what is honestly there, without manipulating it with our interpretive fear or appall, and we might not be able to bear it. This is a very different brand of meditation, one that values our conditional nature, which then rewards us with a deeper embodiment and experience of the unconditional.

The gift of transformational forgiveness is that we are transformed in the process. Linear forgiveness, from what I can tell and have experienced, is fear and denial disguised as wannabe nobility and pretty-posturing spirituality. The latter might be a genuine gesture and attempt at peace, but it just doesn’t foster deep honesty, which is integration by way of transformation. It can actually become a covert self-harm because it denies significant hurt in our hearts. When we deny our heart’s pain, we consolidate and empower our wounds, no matter how “light,” impressive, or compassionate we might try to appear. A more radical compassion is to feel our immediate feelings and notice our immediate thoughts, sit with them, and make sure they are based on reality (if not, then we can look into what and why we have projected), and express them appropriately. This prevents backlogged pain from settling in us and being acted out on others. It also helps to root out our dysfunctional habits, communicate our truth, and also gives others the permission to be emotionally honest. This is how paradoxical compassion delivers us into transformational forgiveness.

Linear forgiveness is, in fact, the new-age antidote for avoiding difficulty, for avoiding the pain necessary to be transformed and birthed into radical forgiveness, as a by-product of lots of hard inner work that looks anything like our pretty ideas of forgiveness. It involves rage, disillusionment, depression, sadness, grief, helplessness, confusion, tremendous humility, and just about every other shitty feeling and state of mind you can imagine. The pain we try to forgive not only wakes us up, but contains the soul-octane necessary to transform and thereby powerfully change our lives.

Linear, superficial forgiveness is the feel-good holdout for avoiding pain when everyday love goes wrong. Many consider “love” to be a mysterious cosmic force, the amorphous answer to all our problems, an immutable power we can channel and share at will. We instead can think of love as the way we behave, enhanced by inner resources such as courage, creativity, generosity, patience, resilience, and self-knowledge. Certainly, what we commonly call unconditional love, as our presence and awareness, can feel like a power “greater than me.” Yet, unconditional love (also a behavior, by the way) does not automatically change our conditional circumstances; it is merely the first step towards working them out, which delivers us into our full potential. We miss out on opportunities for unconditional love and the real miracle of what we are able to authentically overcome when we sidestep what frankly is. We try to see and avoid tough forgiveness a thousand different ways—which if we are honest, is too often the fear of experiencing our difficult feelings.


If pop spirituality is geared to avoid pain, as most of its practices and ideologies are, then what juiciness can it really offer in the face of everyday human heartache? The New Age antidote to heartache is linear, mostly feel-good forgiveness, without acknowledging the pain of the wound. It is flimsy and ungrounded, as opposed to the sort of change that happens over many more months or years by way of transformational forgiveness. The former sets in motion the cycle of denial, repression, stagnation, and a covert harm that explodes and destroys when triggered. It avoids being transformed and deepened as evidenced in a radically different person.

When we can tolerate feeling difficulty and understand its ability transform and renew us, we don’t need to rely on forgiveness the hollow gesture that leaves us with a dearth of depth and richness for giving. Transformational forgiveness comes organically, as a result of clearing out our heart-minds of the hurt caused by injustice through emotional honesty. We naturally let go and forgive as we process our hurts, turning misfortune into fortunes we could not have claimed otherwise.

Injustice is not predictable, so a lot of pain is unavoidable. Shit happens to innocent people all the time, and rationales of karma and “meant-to-be” and it “happened for a reason” are more ways that we try to avoid feeling life’s stings and our fear of death, for which life’s pains are a taste. If we find benefit from misfortune, it does not mean that misfortune did us no harm. To live life with the radical courage to feel everything honestly is not only a way to deepen our love and passion but also to truly forgive and forge a deeper, enduring, and more inclusive love.

True forgiveness, then, might not be what we’d like to believe it is. If we want to live deep, rich, full, authentic, courageous, evolutionary lives, we might be better served to leave behind the contrived spiritual postures we adorn as good ideas and for public approval. We could also do away with the emphatic need to be “right,” which shadows other, more subtle and life-changing truths we realize during moments of tremendous humility—when we are honest about our own intentions. We would do better to surrender to how we honestly feel and think from one now to the deeper next, and to wake up in the midst of forgiveness as frankly and as innocently as we accepted its apparent opposites: betrayal, heartache, injustice, and misfortune. We thereby discover the ever-evolving meaning of forgiveness—its holistic, full-bodied, wholehearted, humbly-derived meaning—as a complex of understandings, emotional processes, and organic resolutions, rather than as a goal from what we think forgiveness is. Forgiveness is, in the end, a process, not a linear decision, though it requires the facts and our true, deep honesty. And we get to feel profund, genuine forgiveness when we embrace what looks like anything but “forgiveness.”

In the end, transformational forgiveness is a life-path of radical surrender, paradoxical compassion, and spiritual integration. Linear forgiveness, as in “I forgive you for so and so,” is best left for small infractions that don’t really hit us that deeply, though we should still be willing to feel and express our hurt over them. For more serious injustices, linear forgiveness is too often a coping mechanism to avoid pain and an attempt stay happy at the expense of our full, honest humanity. There is little more beautiful for giving than our honesty, care, empathy, and authenticity. The depth from which embody and convey these is up to us.


About the Author

Jack Adam Weber is a licensed acupuncturist, master herbalist, author, organic farmer, celebrated poet, and activist for Earth-centered spirituality. He integrates poetry, ancient wisdom, holistic medicine, and depth psychology into passionate presentations for personal fulfillment as a path to planetary transformation. His books, artwork, and provocative poems can be found at his website PoeticHealing.com. Jack can be reached at Jack@PoeticHealing.com or on Facebook