One of the more frequent inquiries I receive is how does a person clear the unconscious of intra-psychic blockages? Specifically a few people wanted to know how to clear intra-psychic blockages and align the unconscious with regards to manifesting reality. I think it’s a good and important question, however the answer is much more complicated than first appears.
The major implication from the correspondence is that there is one technique or method which can then be used to clear the unconscious. This one solution fits all approach is a particularly tenacious belief in our society. Unfortunately it is an erroneous one.
There are different methods and techniques for clearing the unconscious. A part of working with people is finding the right method for that person. This also applies at an individual level. Personally, I have used many different techniques and methods in my own life. At different points I have used EMDR, hypnosis, relaxation and imagery techniques, breathing, exercise etc. What gets selected depends on what is occurring in terms of life and the blockage, how ingrained it is, how intense it is and so on.
What I will say is this all unconscious blockages have a somatic component to them which is frequently overlooked. We like to pay attention to the cerebral and sometimes to the emotional but rarely do we do service to the somatic aspects of our lives. It is a pity that scant attention is given in this regard as it’s an extremely powerful tool to have in ones arsenal.
Earlier I made mention of EMDR (Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing) as a method for clearing blockages. EMDR was primarily used with great success to treat trauma, but it extends too many areas of life where people experience difficulties. The scientific research has repeatedly demonstrated that even long term problems which took many years to previously heal from can provide healing in a short space of time. We should be careful to not think of EMDR as a panacea because it does not suit everyone and every situation. At the same time, we should be open enough to understand that what might take years of work with other modalities including meditation can be resolved in much less time.
The way I work with EMDR says something about unconscious processing and its power I believe.
I have an EMDR machine at home which I use with clients. Essentially it plays a sound in the left and then right ear. The client is also asked to hold onto two points of the machine, which vibrate in unison with the sounds. One of the aims then is to process information in such a way so that the information adapts in a more healthy way. This processing occurs in an altered state but the state differs markedly from hypnosis and meditation. I can elaborate on the differences if people are interested.
It is very important to understand that blockages are essentially stuck stories. But they are not just stuck at a cerebral level. There is a very real somatic component involved. For example, we can see certain regions of the brain light up in PET scans of traumatized people. It also ties in to our emotions, therefore there is a psychological, emotional and somatic component involved. It is not very likely that an unconscious blockage will be resolved with a thought. For example, repeatedly saying I let go of this blockage is unlikely to touch it.
It is also important to understand that it is the unconscious processing we are after and not the conscious insight as is popularly conveyed. There are a number of reasons to work in this way when working with the unconscious. For example we can avoid defences and resistances which inhibit the process. Another reason is we overcome the limitations of thought.
Thoughts are not powerful nor do they create reality. At least not in the way it is popularly conveyed. Try this as an example to verify how thoughts are not all powerful; Crunch yourself up into a tight ball, as if you were afraid and full of tension and anxiety. Notice how the body feels and try and get on the edge of your comfort zone, so that you’re touching a degree of uncomfortableness. While keeping this same posture, consciously tell yourself you are confident. Keep telling yourself this statement for a few minutes while maintaining that same body posture. As you can see our thought of confidence has not changed our internal state of discomfort.
If we spread our bodies out and get into a confident pose then confidence starts to flow into being. We can even tell ourselves that we are not confident but that just won’t ring true. What does happen if we tell ourselves that we are confident while in a confident pose is a type of alignment. Our conscious and unconscious align with our physical bodies and our being responds accordingly.
When it comes to manifesting we need to apply some of the same ideas. Many people want to manifest money. I ask them do you love money. The typical response is either they have not thought about it or they love the idea of money. The latter being a more intellectual idea than anything felt to the core of being.
If we want something we have to love it with passion. If we want money, we have to love money in the same way we love our children, our partners, our friends. The quality of love has to be that high.
When manifesting then we need to get into a state of love and then manifest from there. This is central to many different forms of manifestation, except for Richard Rose’s concept of Betweenness. I go into detail as to why Betweenness is a different and superior form of manifestation in the book I am writing. To be truthful it’s beyond the scope of this article so let’s continue on.
If we can get into a loving state and we have cleared unconscious blockages then the chances of manifestation occurring are greatly increased.
One of the tricks to clearing the unconscious is knowing which technique to use in what circumstances. This can only be known through trial and error and by gaining considerable experience. The other thing which may help is working with someone experienced as a therapist in clearing the unconscious. It would need to be someone who is very knowledgeable about how the unconscious works.
I recommend learning self-hypnosis as a starting point, and in particular becoming familiar with the work of Milton Erickson and Gilligan and Rossi’s minimalistic techniques to begin with. I would also have some basic understanding of defence mechanisms and also integrate some of Jung’s work just to get a better theoretical understanding of what occurs at the unconscious level.
To learn self-hypnosis I suggest going to see a good therapist who can teach you how to hypnotize yourself. This should not be a huge investment as it ordinarily would only take a couple of sessions to teach someone self-hypnosis.
You can then apply that self-hypnosis to helping clear blockages and working on specific goals and aims. In a sense the task is to become your own unconscious expert and get to know how to work with it.
I typically use EMDR a lot. Which is not to say I do not use hypnosis because I do and have extensive training in it. But because I see many traumatized clients I use EMDR. The difference with EMDR is that it tends to work much better with trauma, than other modalities do. Exceptions occur of course, but for most trauma EMDR is extremely efficient. For example, a single incident traumatic incident can often be cleared in a few sessions and usually is cleared by 10-12 sessions at most. This is a consistent finding even with very severe single instance trauma. With more complex trauma, EMDR is still very efficient but often may be combined with more traditional talk therapies and hypnosis or meditation.
It is good to understand what occurs in EMDR and the way I work with it as it becomes central to clearing blockages. But please be aware EMDR is not recommend as a self-remedy technique. At least not until considerable experience is gained. As I said earlier EMDR is very powerful, but it can also stir up very powerful, overwhelming feelings. See a professional if you want to learn to use EMDR as a self-help technique, but if you’re seeing a professional to learn it, likely the trauma/blockage will shift anyway, unless it’s a long term treatment thing. The general rule is self-hypnosis is a bit more manageable than EMDR particularly if you learn self-hypnosis of a competent professional.
The basics of how I use EMDR as still worth knowing though as they can be applied to many different techniques. The same basic principles can apply to self-hypnosis, breath work, meditation etc.
Let’s assume I have significant blockage cause by parental neglect. Under EMDR then it would be my goal to shift the stuck story /blockage into a fully-fledged narrative with a beginning, middle and end. The essence of the blockage will be it is stuck usually at the middle intense point of a story. It doesn’t have an ending in the same way as our normal stories do.
This stuck sequence will also contain a somatic component. So for example, let’s say I am distressed, I want to get in touch with a few things. The first is what is occurring for me at a cognitive and emotional level. I also want to get in touch with what is occurring physically. I might say I am feeling anxious for example.
Now I need to get specific with that anxiety. I want to know exactly where it is in my body. I want to know what shape it is, what does it really feel like, e.g., is it a lump or stone or something else? Then I also want to know its colour and anything else I associate with it. I might even give it a name. The key here and I cannot stress this enough is to get as much information as possible.
The reason we want to get as much information as possible is because it is this very somatic component that needs to shift. It represents the stuck energy of the blockage. While definitely we want the story to unfold into a fully blown narrative we also want to use that somatic sensation as a guide as well.
So now I should have this physical sensation going on and possibly some imagery and emotional turbulence. I then embrace whatever is occurring in experience fully. I accept it and also breathe into it. It is important to note here that acceptance is vital to the process, even if it is very disturbing imagery. This is why I do not recommend EMDR as it can sometimes bring up disturbing imagery and powerful feelings which can lead to feeling overwhelmed and lost.
Another point I would like to stress, is that I am not particularly interested in cognitive insight. In fact it is not even necessary to have a fully-fledged memory. I can have a vague intuitive sense of being neglected and that is enough to work with. I do not need to gain access to the full memory. Very often I work with clients in exactly this fashion.
Also as a therapist I say very little during EMDR. I am more there to be an intermittent guide rather than being overly involved in the process. I may prompt here and there and there usually is a time where I ask the client how they would like to act in whatever is occurring (get to that shortly), but generally my interactions are minimal. The unconscious is doing the work and that’s exactly what needs to occur.
Getting us back on to the methodology I typically employ. Just embrace that and breathe into it is essentially what occurs. Periodically, I check in with the body to see if there have been any changes. I am really monitoring that physical sensation as much as possible, while also keeping an eye on the imagery and emotions that pop up.
Let’s imagine that I then have a clear image of my mother neglecting me as an example to work with. Again I check in with the body, and also check in emotionally. Usually this is the most intense part of the procedure.
At this point I change tact a little bit. I ask myself what I would like to have happened. Then I wait. Usually something comes up. It could be that I have an argument with my mother where the outcome is she sees her neglect of me and apologizes. The outcome has to be a positive one for me.
It does not necessarily have to be an outcome that is positive for her. This is not the stuff of political correctness or trying to manufacture a win/win scenario. The important thing here is to accept what the unconscious throws up as solution as long as the solution entails a positive solution. The positive solution has to be something which empowers the individual.
In case you have not noticed we have a narrative now. My mother neglects me, I feel bad, we argue, and she sees her neglects and apologizes. Previously the story was my mother neglects me, I feel bad and we argue. And around and around we go because the story doesn’t really resolve itself in an empowering way.
We then want to check back in with our bodies. All being well that physically sensation should be feeling much better now. It could even have turned into a pleasant comfortableness. This would be a great sign.
However, if the physical sensation has not changed then we would rinse and repeat till it does. Why? Because the physical sensation is the holder of the trauma and the blockage, not the thoughts or images…
If this has been a successful EMDR session then I would expect to be agitated for a few days depending on how intense the blockage/trauma is. Even though the physical sensation and imagery all seem good, the narrative has to flow through fully to the unconscious. The unconscious works on a different time frame to the conscious.
The agitation is a sign that the unconscious is stirred up and is working on it. A few good night’s sleep usually has us feeling much better. We will never be bothered by that particular blockage/trauma again. We may well be bothered by others, but that one should be a done and dusted deal if all goes well.
This is really what letting go is about…
As mentioned before the same principles can be applied to any other techniques. In particular following the physical sensation is extremely important. For example, I could use a cleansing series of breaths to help clear something. The focus would be on breathing into the physical sensation until it becomes relaxed and dissipates. If it returns again at a later point then I know the clearing has not worked. Something more heavy duty might come into play then, say EMDR or hypnosis.
There is one final point I would like to make. An Intention is not a thought. People seem to think that a statement of intent is the ‘intention’. The focus for most people is on the statement portion while completely forgetting the intention part.
The way people seem to approach intention is to formulate all these laws and rules in regard to a statement of intent. The implicit belief is that if we get these laws and rules right, then we will have a perfect statement of intent which in turn will create a desired outcome. We might well have a perfectly formed STATEMENT of intent, but the statement is not the intention.
The purpose of a statement of intent is to help clarify our aims and goals in life. It is only there as a guide.
Our actual intention is more like a pre-cursor to a thought or affirmation. It is a state of being. For example, tomorrow I am visiting my friends. I have intended to be loving towards them. My intent are not my silly thoughts, it is the state of nascent lovingness towards them… it is like I am approaching love and when I see them love will flourish. That is what I mean by intent.
Always remember that when it comes to manifesting it may take many years to become an overnight success. Manifesting is not about money falling from the skies, it’s about opportunity knocking in most instances.
I hope this article has helped a little to clear up some of the things needed to manifest more successfully.
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