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How I Completely Healed My Mental Illness Through Spiritual Practices

By on September 20, 2017 in Spiritual Awakening
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How I Completely Healed My Mental Illness Through Spiritual Practices

by Tobey Michelle,
Guest Writer, In5D.com

Ten years ago when I survived my first suicide, I thought I was just unlucky. That is, unlucky to be alive again. My savior, a total stranger, heard me crying in prolonged agony, and found me half-burnt on the floor of an antique mansion-hotel. I remember my clothes, smoldering to bits and pieces, were coming off me. I was a patchwork of disintegrating fabric and islands of freshly burnt skin. Some nails came off and hung from the edge of my fingertips. Shallow burns curled and peeled off the top skin layer, while deep ones paralyzed my nerves. And the smell. It was something I had never smelled before — acrid, sharp, and foul — but it registered to me as the smell of bliss and freedom.

To people undergoing similar agony, the mental or emotional turmoil is intense and overwhelming that it bleeds into blind courage: the courage to kill oneself. To end everything once and for all. And like the millions of people from all over the world suffering from a mental disease, the emergency recourse is to seek a psychiatrist or therapist, drug oneself with torpor, suffer the side effects, and completely ignore the pain away. My intuition told me something wasn’t right. Everything did not fit in to any version of “healing”. I needed an explanation. I followed that little voice and sought a different path.

Over the course of 10 years I had four well-respected psychiatrists tell me that I had schizophrenia, bipolar disorder, or schizoaffective disorder. I suffered from visual and auditory hallucinations, persecutory delusions, hyperactivity as well as depression, suicidal tendencies, insomnia, and neurosis. It was not until 2015 when I had an eight-month-long hallucination that would not have ended if I wasn’t completely drugged and locked up in a mental ward with zero sunlight. Until then, my doctor told me it’s a life-long disease and that I’d have to take my medications forever. I said, BS. I will heal myself and prove him wrong.

Seeking the wisdom of modern and ancient healing techniques, I dived deep into a two-year journey to uncover the mystery of the self and the psyche. After all, Western psyche-ologists only treat illnesses one-sidedly, by bombarding the physical body with chemicals, when there actually are five energy systems to the human body. Besides the physical body, the four others are subtle and invisible, but can be sensed when we pay attention. It’s an inward journey towards exploring the mental body, the emotional body, the etheric body, and the spiritual body. Essentially these bodies are intertwined with each other that blockages in one affect the others, often manifesting as diseases in the flesh. Desperate, I resorted to healing these five layers instead of just relying on my psychiatrist. In about two years I was completely free from doctors, drugs, and mental disease.

The 15 Habits

While still taking my medications, I adapted these one at a time over the course of two years through which the doses went down until I was free from them. Just stick only to habits that improve your condition — whatever mix serves your bliss, follow your intuition — and keep doing them at a steady, regular pace. The only guiding principle is your motivation to heal yourself on a daily basis. Keeping a journal of your progress helps.

Part I: 5 Easy Habits I Practice Everyday

15. Be authentic and listen to yourself.

Every time you shut yourself off from your inner reality, you are depriving yourself of your own growth. If your job makes you sick, talk to your manager about the changes you’d like to have or find a better job before quitting. If you’re receiving visions or hearing voices, listen to them and wonder why they are coming out to reach you. If you’re depressed, listen to all the small and big things that make you sink in the funk. If you are suffering without knowing why, just stay there and embrace the feeling until a clue comes up. Simply put, if something feels wrong, listen to it, embrace it, and give it a voice. Even the faintest expression of pain exists to unlock a procession of sorrows.

14. Know who you are.

While we keep changing throughout the course of our lives, knowing your core self is fundamental to carving the life that enriches you rather than drains your energy. Some elements of your core include memories, beliefs, and ideas that have shaped your personality and character; your drives, dreams, and aspirations; your innate skills and talents, especially those you immensely enjoy; attitudes and values that you already have or want to see more in yourself; negative experiences that have shaped your ego defenses, so you can transcend them, and; positive experiences that motivate you. Knowing yourself, your inner sacred self, can make you bullet-proof, and keep you from unsolicited outside influences.

13. Love yourself and watch.

Buddha once said, Love yourself and watch. You can do this while showering or standing in front of the mirror, and sending love to each part of your body. Love your eyes that they make you see, your nose that lets you breathe and smell aromas, your mouth that allows you to kiss your family or speak loving words to your partner, your belly which helps you digest food, your strong legs, your little toes, and so on. Spend a few more seconds on those parts that you dislike about yourself — that scar, that stretch mark, that wobbly fat. By accepting and loving all parts of your being, including your unwanted thoughts and feelings, you will observe later that you relax more, you feel good with a deep sense of calm and content, and the entire world transforms from a hostile place to a place where only love, nourishment, and goodness exist.

12. Talk to your higher self.

Call this God, Buddha, Jesus, the Universe, Mother Nature, or whatever suits your personal beliefs. But to make this simple, you have immediate access to your own “superconsciousness” or “higher self”, which is endowed with incorruptible truths and unconditional love. Make it a habit, prayer, or ritual, to speak with this high energy, and ask for guidance, sign posts, and support. Ask for all the specific things that you need and prepare yourself to receive them. Because you will surprise yourself when they come to you. An atheist and skeptic for a majority of my life, I never believed these things until the signs and synchronicities I received were beyond my doubts that they could only be explained as divine.

11. Run into the arms of your negative thoughts and feelings.

The more you run away from things that hurt you, the more you attract them and hurt you even more. Chalk up the courage to face them one at a time, and celebrate each little victory. Things that hurt, whether it’s a situation, person, object, memory, or feeling, come to you to trigger and bring out buried negativity. Embrace the experience, or better yet, run into their arms and endure their message. Cry if you need to or call a close friend or family member over. Stop escaping pain or numbing it out with distractions, illegal drugs, or alcohol. Otherwise, running away can drag on to years and even a lifetime. Don’t fret — the universe is designed to teach you its wisdom through your journey.

Part II: 5 Habits That Boosted My Willpower To Heal

10. Radically simplify your life.

Simplify everything to the bones and you get more energy flowing in and around your physical surroundings, your body, mind, and heart. This means letting go of everything that no longer serves you. This includes minimizing all your belongings, donating possessions even those that have sentimental value, cutting yourself off from relationships and groups that don’t resonate with you anymore, making conscious changes on your lifestyle, beliefs, and judgments, and resolving addictions, distractions, and emotional baggages. Clear some space inside you, visualize the old baggages being buried deep in the earth, and then bring in the good stuff, like people, activities, and habits that only magnify your spirit. As you go along, healing becomes easier and even enjoyable.

9. Get creative and change your vibe.

After simplifying your life, you can fill in your new breathing space with only the things that nourish you. To give an example, I let go of window shopping, social drinking, and spending hours on social media and television, and filled my free time with trekking to the mouth of volcanoes, cooking delicious food for my family, and spending more time writing and doing art. When the opportunity comes, I volunteer to bring school supplies to remote mountains and introduce village people to the beauty of zero waste and environmental protection. Other simple things you can do to lift your vibe include listening to upbeat music, planning and spending happy hours with people you love, and relaxing near bodies of water like lakes, waterfalls, and the sea. Make your own list, engage only in what drives you, and do this consistently.

8. Nourish your body.

Adapting a vegetarian lifestyle can be difficult for most people already used to eating meat and processed food. On an energetic level, processed food like canned goods and instant noodles, and secondary sources of solar energy like chicken, fish, and seafood — these kinds of food take on dense energy mostly inseparable from preservatives, growth hormones, violence, and even environmental destruction. Instead, by eating primary sources of solar energy such as fruits, vegetables, grains, starches, root crops, nuts, legumes, and mushrooms, you raise the overall energy of not just your physical body but also your four subtle bodies. Some of the benefits of having a nutritious, whole foods vegetarian diet include reversal of diseases, better immune system, healthy glowing skin, and increased energy. By making your body light, your thoughts and feelings become lighter as well.

7. Spend more time in nature.

When Buddha reached enlightenment 2,500 years ago, it was in the shade of a tree. Nature, especially trees far older than ourselves, has the capacity to root us deep into the earth and transmute negative energy. Make it a habit to spend time in nature by touching trees, resting or reading a book in its shade, bathing in the sea or stream, or simply sitting or lying down on the grass in your local park. Standing or walking barefoot on naked earth also has a direct impact on balancing the current running up and down our body, and can imbue us with feelings of being present, safe, stable, and secure. Another way to spend time in nature is by gazing at colorful flowers, green forests, blue sea or sky, or the fiery colors of a sunset. It’s nature’s own free color therapy, which aids in purging internal blocks and balancing our subtle bodies.

6. Keep a gratitude journal.

It took me about six months to actually feel the effects of deep gratitude and contentment. And when these sensations came to me at a steady pace, the unlucky feeling that I used to have gradually began to transform into luck and fortune. I started to appreciate the things I already have, like my wonderful and supportive family, being born a sensitive girl, getting a college education, and living close to nature. Eventually, even little things, such as eating a piece of fruit or having a breath of fresh air, can create profound feelings of bliss and happiness. It can be phenomenal to realize that we already are being taken care of by the earth and the universe. We just have to recognize how they are already doing that in little ways.

Part III: 5 Habits That Cleared Away My Mental Illness

5. Do stretches that give you bliss.

It doesn’t matter if it’s yoga, tai chi, qi gong, or simple stretches or warm ups, as long as it makes you feel good while doing the activity. Slow down, rest, or do something else if it hurts! The essential aspect to doing any of these is deep breathing. By moving slowly, stretching your muscles and joints, and breathing light into them, you consequently release tensions and blockages in your subtle bodies as well. The easiest activity I’ve adopted are basic yoga poses at home, which I learned from old yoga classes and youtube. Visualizing that you are breathing in and delivering energy or light into parts of your body can uncover deep-seated traumas, memories, and emotions that may be dulling or overstimulating your energetic body.

4. Wear a crystal pendant or bracelet.

Crystals are natural batteries that concentrate the earth’s energies. Whether it is for clearing mental turmoil, emotional havoc, or waking oneself up from the deadening slumber of depression, crystals can be selected and programmed depending on our immediate needs. Just visit a local crystal shop that sells authentic crystals and get a stone you are intuitively drawn to. When properly cleansed, charged, and programmed, the crystal can channel high energy from the earth and manifest our needs, be it healing, perfect health, love, or abundance. I used to think that crystals are fake alchemy, but after cleansing mine under running water, charging it in moonlight, and wearing it, it took about two days when I felt a strong current running from the soles of my feet, through my body, and out the top of my head. It helped clear my blocks and align me to my intentions in this lifetime.

3. Gaze at the sunrise or sunset.

It isn’t a coincidence that “enlightenment” derives from the word “light”. Literally speaking, watching our main source of light and energy, the sun, for a few minutes within the first or last hour of daylight can have a tremendous healing effect on the body, mind, and spirit. The creative intelligence that sustains all lives on our planet, the sun can activate our pineal gland, or third-eye, and deliver light and nourishment to all levels of our being. Otherwise known as Hira Ratan Manek (HRM) Method of safe sungazing, watching the sun literally sheds light on mental and emotional tensions, aids in deep relaxation, and increases vital force in the body, resulting in enduring feelings of peace, joy, and bliss. Personally, sungazing lifted my mood and slowly lessened the intensity of my hallucinations and delusions until they eventually faded away.

2. Heal yourself with your hands.

Otherwise known as Reiki, laying of hands on the body is a simple and powerful form of healing from ancient Japan. To heal oneself, you first make a prayer of intention to channel divine healing through your palms. Taking about thirty minutes to one hour, three times a week, you lay your hands on each of the seven energy vortices or chakras in your body, or simply sweep your hands over your body. When you pass your hand over a body part that sends a sensation such as tingling, pinpricks, burps, jerks, spasms, or tremors, focus on that area for several minutes more until blocks such as old traumas and negative memories come to the surface. My first Reiki healing took me about 30 minutes to feel anything, but whenever I hit a spot and concentrate on it, intense pain emerge and is released through tears, moans, or fits. Alternatively, you can seek a Reiki practitioner in your local area.

1. Breathe fire into your soul.

Possibly one of the most potent forms of meditation, Inner Fire or Tummo Meditation combines breathwork, attention, and visualization. Vital force or energy is visualized to enter the nose and pass through two parallel channels, until this energy is concentrated below the navel as a ball of light. Like a dam, breath is held for 5 to 15 seconds and then released, creating an torrent of energy and demolishing blockages from the body. With practice, you will literally feel this subtle explosion with every cycle of breath. One sitting (30 minutes) of this meditation can instantly make you feel light, free, and blissful. Because this comes from Tibetan Trantic Buddhist tradition, the power of this meditation is magnified when practiced alongside fundamental Buddhist tenets, such as compassion, simplicity, and freedom from desire.

Final Words

When the stranger carried my burnt body in his arms, I was weeping disappointed, for I was still conscious and breathing. I remember in between sobs that I begged him to end my life. My physical burns felt nothing, but inside I was still in pain. A mob of voices twisted and ridiculed my every passing thought and feeling. The first episode had gone like that for about 12 hours, before I caved in and ended my life. Please kill me, I said to the stranger. Please, don’t bring me to the hospital. But he ignored me anyway and brought me there, where I was wheeled to the emergency room. It took me ten years to come to an understanding of myself and the invisible laws within me, and enjoy living again. Ten years before I could look back and send that stranger my much delayed words of gratitude. I hope he finds this piece and smiles that I am alive.

About the author: Tobey Michelle is a freelance writer and website designer based in the Philippines. She is an honors graduate of Creative Writing from the University of the Philippines Diliman, and is a Creative Nonfiction Fellow to the longest-running writers workshop in Asia, the Silliman University National Writers Workshop. At the onset of 2017, she gave away everything she owned except for one backpack, left home and everything behind, and has since been traveling and working on the road as a digital nomad. She lives at http://wordgasm.com.

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