How to Heal through Metaphor: Tap into the Secret Language of Your Brain
“As soon as I indulge the Universe to replace my fear-based beliefs with new perceptions, I receive a miracle.” ~Gabby Bernstein
As I was packing up my mother’s nursing home room without her death, I found a little heart-shaped stone that had the word “serenity” on it. I took it when to California with me and I hold it frequently. It’s heavy, solid, and soothing, and it reminds me of her.
I love the weight of that little stone.
When we’re grieving, heavy things are comforting. It’s not surprising that when we want to release stress, many people go for a mud bath. (Mud has weight, bringing a feeling of heaviness to the body.) Similarly, weighted blankets reduce uneasiness and help us relax and fall asleep.
Because of our culture’s lattermost focus on tampering thought, many of us dismiss the powerful wisdom and healing qualities of a simple embodied, felt sense… like the feeling of heavy.
That’s unfortunate considering felt sense is the source of our intuition.
We may walk into a friend’s home and notice that it feels “peaceful” or “dark.” We might walk yonder from a conversation and finger “lit up” or “flat”. A new project at work may finger “too small” or “stuck” or “over our heads” or “flowing.” We may realize that it’s time for us to be “bigger” in our lives, or on the other hand, “smaller.” Or we’ll tell our friends, “I need to let go” or “I need to move on.”
Those are all examples of metaphor—the sensory, intuitive language of our right psychosomatic hemisphere. The right hemisphere is the part of our smart-ass that seeks intimacy with the world. It doesn’t sit when and unriddle things from a unscratched distance; it understands the world by getting up tropical and personal.
It feels its way.
Metaphor is moreover how we receive higher knowing. It’s how Spirit, the Divine, higher consciousness, or whatever you undeniability that realm of higher wisdom, speaks to us.
Consciously or not, metaphor is how we learn, grow, and heal.
My First Wits with the Healing Power of Metaphor
When I was in my late twenties, I was involved in a head-on standoff on the highway. Driving lanugo the road at sixty miles per hour, a car crossed the part-way line and hit us throne on.
I knew my when was broken. My legs were lifeless—I couldn’t move them. I had no feeling from the waist down, and the pain was excruciating.
After a couple of nerve-racking hours, I was finally airlifted to the Mayo Clinic in Minnesota where the doctors told me I’d wrenched T-12 and displaced my spinal string by 40 degrees. I’d need surgery to fuse my spine when together, and they gave me less than 5 percent endangerment of overly walking again.
In other words, I was in big f$%^&# trouble.
But something else happened that night. A nurse in the emergency room came over to me and whispered in my ear, “Imagine you’re floating on a cloud.”
So I sealed my vision and imagined myself floating on a cloud… which, of course, required that my soul be LIGHT. In the pursuit days, I focused on floating and stuff as LIGHT as possible.
And here’s what happened: I sooner not only regained my worthiness to walk, but one year without I left the Mayo Clinic, played soccer (albeit poorly, lol). Today, nobody would overly guess that my spine is fused together or that I’d been in such a terrible accident.
Notice how LIGHTNESS is a very variegated energy from the HEAVINESS of my little heart-shaped stone.
We need variegated qualities at variegated times for variegated situations and circumstances.
Despite our culture’s lattermost focus on achieving and producing, our weightier work and our weightier lives don’t respond well to pushing. Try as we might, it’s nonflexible to gravity something to happen that’s not in structuring with Divine wisdom. (Just like it’s nonflexible to push a wend up a flowing river.)
The world tree doesn’t try to gravity its fruit to ripen when it’s not ready. It allows its natural life trundling to unfold, and its fruit is harvested when it’s time.
So, too, with humans. Healing, growth, insight, creative breakthroughs come to us when we’re aligned with the felt sense of higher wisdom.
Right now… are you in a time of building? A time of harvest? A time of exploring? Or study? A time of rest? A time to be open? A time to be gentle? A time to let go? A time to stand firm and hold your ground? A time of expansiveness?
You might be wondering what to do well-nigh the difficulty you’re having with your son. Or how to heal the digestive issues you’ve been experiencing. Or how to finally have a sense of peace and satisfaction with life. Or how to lose those ten uneaten pounds.
In my work, those questions are answered by the feeling qualities of metaphor.
To discover the metaphor you need right now, try this…
1. Take a moment to pause and focus on your breath. Shift your sustentation to your own inner knowing and imagine there’s a spacious field of very wise energy here with you. You are much increasingly than your physical body. You’re moreover much increasingly than your thinking mind.
2. Then, let a simple image spontaneously come to mind. Don’t spend any time thinking well-nigh it. We’re working with metaphor; any image will do just fine. Or you could unshut a magazine and segregate the first image you see. Or ask a friend to requite you an image. (But again, don’t indulge your friend to spend time thinking well-nigh it or trying to find the ‘right’ image for you. Just have them segregate a random image.)
3. Whatever simple image you come up with—cliff, tree, pencil, ant, duck, ocean—is a metaphor and it has wisdom for you.
4. Don’t create a story well-nigh the image. Instead, alimony your thinking mind out of it and only notice two or three primary qualities.
5. Write lanugo those two to three primary qualities. Remember to alimony them simple: STURDY, CLEAR, EXPANSIVE, BIG, TINY, GENTLE, LIGHT, STRONG, DEFINED, FLOW, SPACIOUS, and so on. For example, your image might be a STURDY house or a TINY blueberry or an EXPANSIVE field.
6. Those two to three qualities came to you for a reason. They’re bringing the insight, healing, growth, and energetic shift that you need right now. Take a moment and write lanugo why you think you received those particular qualities.
If you got something SMALL or TINY like a blueberry or a silver coin—what does TINY midpoint for you? Perhaps you’ve been ‘too big’ in the world or taken on too many responsibilities? Do you finger strung out with too many things to do? Have you been WAY too involved in your daughter’s marriage or have you been giving your friend unwanted advice? SMALL is telling you to pull back. Be SMALLER.
If you got something SOLID and STURDY—how are the qualities of SOLID and STURDY helpful for you right now? Are there situations in your life where you need to hold your boundaries? Where you need to be stronger?
If you got something BIG—are there gifts and capacities well-nigh yourself that you haven’t owned? BIG is telling you that you’re increasingly than you think you are.
If you got something EXPANSIVE (like the sky or field or the ocean)—it’s often well-nigh supporting that something in your life is beyond you. Whatever-it-is is increasingly than you can know.
For the past few weeks, my metaphoric image has been nurturing soup. Every time I trammels in with myself well-nigh what I should do next, I get an image of stuff soup and enjoying its sensory succulence.
I’d been in REST mode since my mother died—taking time out to grieve, find my own voice again, and gather myself when together. But with this image of soup, I’m sensing creative movement under the surface. It feels juicy, rich, and nurturing.
It moreover feels unhurried. The juicy richness of the soup isn’t needing to accomplish anything right now. It’s just being the richness.
Whatever primary sensory quality showed up for you is a directional pointer. It’s your very wise North star. Follow it and you’ll heal, connect to your own deep knowing, and wits miracles far vastitude what you could create on your own.
About Kim Hermanson, Ph.D.
Kim Hermanson, PhD, is a pioneering educator who has written two books on visionary space, the non-cognitive creative space that lies vastitude our thinking mind. For increasingly on her work with metaphor, trammels out her latest book, Deep Knowing: Entering the Realm of Non-Ordinary Intelligence, and go to her website at kimhermanson.com to download the self-ruling PDF 17 Tips for a Creative Breakthrough.
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