Tuesday, February 05, 2008

Illness and Emotional/Spiritual Contagion

So I succumbed to the illness Paul and John have had this week. Coughing, achy, nauseous, all the classic signs of flu. And I'm bummed because I know just when it happened.

Up until a few hours ago I was doing fine. I was even gleeful at the thought that I would not get sick even though the whole household is full of disease. I intended it and really enjoyed being well. But this morning my housemate John came down the stairs looking like hell, hacking and coughing and complaining that he was much worse and a tiny little feeling of unbelievability came into my mind. "Am I really capable of warding off something this big?"

I knew the thought was counterproductive. I shifted back to my more positive point of view...but those niggling fears snuck their way in. I knew it. But the little engine that could (Paul wrote about that in our most recent email newsletter) just veered off the track. Within minutes I knew my energy downshifted—it was hardly noticed by me, it was so familiar a state of being. And I felt a little bit of discomfort in my throat. I told myself that if I caught this thing I could nip it in the bud but I could already feel symptoms creeping up on me.

Then Paul came into the room, his coffee machine broke down, he read things on the internet that ALWAYS send us on a slippery slope, I got upset with him for it and wanted to force him to put his upset away. Then I succumbed to the distress all the way and that was the end of it. Headache, achyness, irritated bronchial tubes. From feeling completely well and enjoying life to full blown illness in less than a couple of hours flat.

Paul and I talked a bit later about emotional/spiritual contagion. In our unconventional line of work people come into our office believing all kinds of unbelievable things. Sometimes it's religion that brings them in--a belief in demonic influences, that an evil unknown something can control them from the other side, that they're cursed, vulnerable to attack from all sides. Other times it's not societal alone but family issues, too. If someone in the family unit looks demonic because of their abusive stuff people can get sick through the belief that they are small and too vulnerable to have any control. (Except by being so ill people HAVE to leave them alone.)

It occurs to me that if a person can have their immune response weaken because of emotional distress (read about the field of psychoneuroimmunology if you want the scientific evidence of that), choosing a more powerful point of view would have to be an effective assistance in healing.

Of course, I use energy healing, too, so I decided to do an experiment in which I sent Reiki energy to myself to the period of time in the past just before I felt ill. (A person can do that? Sure, why not?) It went to the third chakra area, the solar plexus, the area we in the West associate with confidence, power, and beliefs about the same. I knew at the time that I was operating under the belief that I might not be able to withstand the emotional and physical germs in my environment. After several minutes of sending Reiki a new belief came into view:

If, in fact, I was an infinite being capable of accessing this healing power to use at any time, how could I not have the power to stay well? My father is pretty darn conservative and not at all New Agey in his beliefs but he believes this. He has some physical conditions he could do without but he never gets a cold or flu. He insists it is a simple matter of mind over matter and delights in proving to people that he is right. He doesn't live a healthy lifestyle either—he smokes, drinks, never exercises and eats junk all day long except when my mother intervenes on his behalf. He has a pretty miserable point of view, too. The only place he obviously uses his ability to channel positivity is in areas like this. Again, it's a point of pride for him.

So for a minute or two I tapped into the belief that I was a being of infinite power, too. And guess what? I immediately felt my foggy headed sleepiness lift. I woke up. I felt awake. I still could feel the achy joints and sinus headache I had before before but emotionally I felt GOOD!

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