Through my work, I have the great privilege of reading the human body with my hands. What I often find through this touch are muscles and tissues that have turned to stone. The divine intelligence of our body is simply responding to what we are telling it. Our body literally shapes itself based on our thoughts.
So what are we telling ourselves to turn our tissues to stone?
I am never enough. Nothing I do matters. What difference does it make? I will never get it right. If anyone really knew me, they would leave. I am so….fill in the blank with any self condemning thought of your choosing. We all do it, running thought loops that lead to self-hatred, self-loathing, severe and harsh judgments that put us in a virtual torture chamber of our own doing.
If hard driving thoughts turn our body to stone, what thoughts release us from the virtual prison?
man•tra. 1. the repetition of a word or formula, chanted or sung as an incantation or prayer.
Just as water has the power to smooth the hardest stone, we too can soften the concrete we have created by repeatedly washing with words of love and the power of forgiveness. We can heal and transform the hardest stone within using the healing waters of mantra.
I love you.
I am sorry.
Please forgive me.
I first heard of the magic of these words through a story about a doctor who healed an entire ward of criminally insane patients using the ancient Hawaiian practice of Ho'oponopono, the repetition of these words for a mental cleansing that sets the heart right. How can we use this ancient healing art to free us from the mental torment that is turning us to stone?
Step one. AWARENESS. The moment we discover our self tortured loop playing, we are given a tremendous opportunity to break free. In that moment, the endless litany of torture temporarily ceases.
Step two. GRATITUDE. If we notice this loop of self condemnation and continue to berate ourself for being such a bad, spineless, weak human being, we breathe more life force into the very loop we are trying to break. This condemnation is what feeds it. Instead, when we offer our thanks for whatever has made itself known, we shift the relationship away from one of self loathing to one of self acceptance. This begins to soften the stone.
Step three. COMPASSION. Once we have become aware of the loop and softened our stance with gratitude, we now melt further with the words I love you. Self love is the root of our wholeness. Self love fills the insatiable void at the heart of all addiction that seeks for the love it lacks in substances, food, relationships, sex. Self love begins to repair the damage we have created through our harsh, self critical thinking.
Step four. ATONEMENT. Here we recognize our part in this loop. We are not making excuses or blaming anyone else for the way we are treating ourself. I am sorry assumes responsibility for our thoughts, deeds and actions. We step out of the blame game. This is essential. If we continue to place the onus of how we are feeling on something outside of ourself, we remain stuck in stone.
Step five. HEALING. Please forgive me moves us to our healed state. To forever punish ourself keeps us hard as stone. Forgiveness is fundamental to put the loop to rest, once and for all.
When you notice yourself in the midst of habitual responses that leave you stuck, hard as stone, bring the force of these waters. Let this mantra run for a daily mental cleansing. Let the power of these words wash over you, again and again, wearing away stone until a new path emerges. Stone can then serve to build a foundation of strength rather than a fortress of protection.