Can we actually change pain into peace?

What a life-changer energy transmutation can be. It was so strange, reading the http://www.ramdass.org/transmutation-energy/ blog post and experiencing that delicious *click* of a new and needed concept falling into place.

It’s excellent for diffusing tense situations, or for finding your compassion in a situation that seems unfair. It counter-balances the “avoidance” strategy I tend to default to when it comes to negative or draining situations; sometimes you just can’t avoid an unpleasant conversation or a stressful situation.

It’s easy to look at the external factor (multiple unfortunate events, some other toxic person) as the “cause” of the negative energy you’re stuck dealing with – if it is desirable or possible to simply cut this source out of your life, just give yourself permission to set those boundaries.

However, it’s not always possible to take a scalpel to your life and carve out all the cancer. You’d be left with a hideously deformed life if that was the only tool in our toolbelt. In the past, I’ve used different psychic protection techniques to build my tolerance for negative situations I couldn’t or didn’t want to avoid.

Sometimes, it’s better to just HEAL the cancer, rather than cut it out. That’s what Ram Dass is talking about.

I understand this is not a new concept to many people… but it really was a missing link for me. Holy crap does it ever work!!!

Not only does it shift my approach from “active defensive” (creating energy barriers between me and the source) or “passive defensive” (allowing myself to be a clear river illuminated by light) it creates a completely different mindset.

In defense mode, you’re thinking “Shields up!”

In transmutation mode, you’re thinking “Welcome.” It’s amazing!

Suddenly, all that crap I’ve been tip-toeing around is food. I’m like a banana slug, taking a potentially toxic waste substance and transforming it into something that will nourish others – and I am nourished along the way.

I just can’t get over how easy and empowering it is.

I recently used it to break a “drama cycle” at the hospital (my part-time alter-ego role.) In case you’re unfamiliar with the idea, the “drama triangle” is this idea that there are three roles which perpetuate drama in your life: victim, persecutor and rescuer.

The victim believes they are 100% innocent. The victim is the “good” person.

The persecutor is 100% guilty, or the “bad” person, as seen by the victim. However, persecutor may see *themselves* as the victim.

The rescuer (optional) will offer to help not for good karma, but for their personal, egoic gain. The rescuer does not really respect the person they’re helping, or doesn’t think them capable of rescuing themselves. There’s not a lot of good energy around the rescuer.

So any drama usually starts with a victim and a persecutor – frequently, the persecutor will see themselves as a victim, or the victim may become persecutor as the drama spins out.

Other times the drama can start with a rescuer: a rescuer will offer help, and offer help, and offer help. The “rescued” person receiving the help expressed their appreciation, but perceives no future obligation (or perhaps offers to return a favour in the future.) This dynamic can go on for years, but at some point there’s a break-down where the rescuer becomes a victim – they believe they were taken advantage of, manipulated, or that the person they helped has not “repaid” them adequately. Return to victim / persecutor dynamic.

When things *really* get messy, perhaps another rescuer will get involved.

I try very hard to steer clear of drama; although avoiding undesirable situations is still a part of my psychic protection strategy, it’s not always possible. I got involved in a messy-ass drama triangle a few weeks ago.

I’m human. I screw up. The best I can do is suck up all the lessons I can from the experience… which is what brought me to energy transmutation.

Now I think that this little drama in my life happened to push me towards this new concept. I am *so freaking grateful* for that painful bit of drama, because the energy transmutation techniques have completely turned my experience around.

Here’s what I do: I observe and tap into the “icky” energy pooling around our feet, or reverberating between myself and another person. Then I pretend I’m a water fountain! I suck up all the low energy, it pulls straight up through my body (which is illuminated by the unlimited light, energy and support from the other side) and the cleansed energy spurts out the top of my head like a beautiful ornamental fountain, refracting in the light, throwing rainbows, happy sounds and creating a fresh, invigorating feeling in the air.

I can’t help but smile as I do it.

The first time I did this in relation to the little drama, I remembered with a bang how much I liked this other person. I immediately decided to continue to like her, even if she had decided she no longer liked me. Even if she never changed her mind, it didn’t matter.

It’s difficult to describe the difference between this feeling and the energy of trying to maintain the moral high ground (a power-position that elevates you above the other person, a judgment.)

I’ll tell you, maintaining the “moral high ground” takes a lot of energy; for me it involves a frequent re-run of the events in my mind, questioning the decisions of myself and others, and concluding I couldn’t have done anything differently. Moral high ground = I’m right, and the other person just doesn’t see it.

Sound familiar? I think we’re taught to occupy the moral high ground when we’re young. Perhaps kids are being raised differently these days… my friends’ kids are being taught about how their actions affect others and how to express their feelings.

The analogy the local grade school uses is “The Bucket.”

Every person has an imaginary bucket. When the bucket is full, you feel happy. When the bucket is empty, you feel sad.

Sometimes things children say or do will take away from another child’s bucket. Making fun of them? That empties BOTH children’s buckets. Being kind will FILL both kid’s buckets.

That’s how they’re explaining it to kids around here. I think it’s really cool.

Using this analogy, a victim tries to fill their own bucket by seeing themselves as the victim. A rescuer tries to fill their bucket by rescuing for personal egoic gain, rather than just doing a good deed.

Occupying the moral high ground is like trying to fill your own bucket from another’s. It doesn’t work, that’s why you keep running the situation over and over in your head – you keep trying to fill up your bucket by judging the actions of the other person, tearing that person down, judging that person. Seeing yourself as a victim automatically sends bad energy to the person you see as persecutor.

You understand, of course, I’m talking about “drama” situations here, not criminal situations.. But I’ll bet this analogy works for more criminal situations than we’d initially assume.

Here’s the really cool part: as soon as I just let this person do her thing, and stopped *reacting* to the energy she was putting out towards me because of her own internal process (she has some moral high ground of her own) the whole negative dynamic dissolved. I was happy to smile at her in the mornings, happy to send her good, HONEST energy, regardless of the energy she was sending to me.

It’s really difficult to explain myself without sounding like I’ve gone mad with self-righteous zen. This is the *opposite* of self-riteous, it’s just Zen.

This isn’t something you can force, so be gentle with yourself. I’ll tell you, I’m going to need some time and work before I can see clear to applying this to one particular grudge I’m reluctant to release. That’s another blog entry. You’ll laugh at that one, I’m being ridiculous… but it’s hard to let go.

I think that some people try to force this zen state after reading something like the Celestine Prophecy. I once saw a person who was clearly pissed say to another, “I wish you peace.” The energy said, “I hope you suffer.”

It’s funny when hippies get angry. The whole hippy culture around anger is basically this: if you’re an evolved human being, you don’t feel anger. At the very least, you don’t express it.

Hey, isn’t that a judgment? Can’t evolved human beings get angry? Do you think Nelson Mandela or Mahatma Gandhi didn’t get angry enough to piss nails?

(Interesting Aside: Louise Hay suggests that unmanaged anger issues can contribute to recurring bladder and urinary tract infections, hence the saying “Pissed Off.”)

Here’s what I think about anger: I think that anger is your body’s way of drawing your attention to a situation that needs action. If you do nothing, the anger persists.

For women who get PMS, I also believe that the things which upset us during our PMS time are actually things that bother us all month long, it’s just our bodies are using this time to draw our attention to things that we may be forcing ourselves to tolerate. PMS days are good times to observe what bothers you and honour how you feel, simply because you feel it.

Transmuting the energy may not be the only thing you need to do in order to resolve a crappy situation. In fact, right now, I don’t believe it’s the FIRST THING we should do. We live in bodies and have voices for a reason: USE THEM! Get the hell out of there or speak up!

Transmutation is for the situations you can’t help and can’t ignore. Transmutation is for local tensions in your home or workplace, and it’s also for those global things you care about and may feel powerless to affect: for me, this is animal abuse and the cruel and entitled exploitation of other living beings including mother nature herself.

I think it’s okay to get angry about this stuff – and now I believe it’s important to transmute that anger into something useful. If it works in your small community, your workplace, your family, your neighbours – it *has to* work on a large scale too.

I once went to a lecture by a Buddhist monk who spoke about having major dental work done without anesthetic. He talked about prayer and using his own physical pain to transform the pain of others in the world who suffer.

I did *not* understand how having a tooth pulled without pain medication (something I’ve personally experienced and alluded to in the comments of a recent entry) could possibly have anything to do with the suffering of a starving child in Asia.

But I get it now. I wouldn’t make *that* choice myself, but I do understand his approach. He is a monk, after all. He has devoted his entire existence to service. Of course he’d devote his dental work, too. I had no concept of how this could possibly work until the other day.

It’s like your first, great psychic experience. You don’t really believe it until you experience it for yourself.

That’s why we can’t be married to our opinions, that’s why our judgments change. And really, that’s why love really is the only thing that matters.

I love you guys!

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11 thoughts on “Can we actually change pain into peace?

  1. Wow, did I EVER need this right now! It’s funny, I read the energy transmutation post too, and it definitely resonated — but your water fountain analogy is what gave me that all-important “click”! THANK YOU!

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    • Awesome! Try it and report back, let us know if it works for you too! There’s really no way for me to know if it works for anyone *other* than me, so I’d really appreciate it if you’d let me know!

      For anyone else reading this: there’s no “fail” in this sort of work. It’s just a matter of looking for the thing that works for you.

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  2. Nice post 🙂 I used the water fountain trick yesterday when I was with my brother in law, we weren’t arguing but he has very low energy/depression/anxiety/etc. I have to say it really helped and I felt much at ease. It reminds me a bit of the breathing techniques I used during childbirth, only instead of bringing the energy up and through my head I brought it down and through the birth canal.

    Also, thinking of the energy rising up and spouting from the top of the head made me think of the Snorks cartoon. 🙂

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  3. Hi Kate,
    I keep meaning to tell you how helpful this post was for me. It helped me resolve an issue with someone I didn’t know very well, but I felt the irritation with the situation gnawing away at me. I felt I couldn’t approach the person freely and honestly, and other attempts at release and self healing hadn’t really done much. The frustration would just appear again and remanifest. I was really upset about it and I read this and tried the technique. It’s really similar to a lot of what I’ve read about as far as the way of transmuting pain into healing…but for some reason I didn’t think to apply it to the situation. I feel
    like there has been some kind of “cosmic resolution” between the two of us now. She also has reacted different to me, in a good way, which is really cool. And a relief.

    I’d looked at it in the past as “taking the high road” and tried to be stoic and patient. But you are so right – that only breeds judgement and eventually resentment builds up, even in our “best” state of mind.

    Anyway, thanks again! We’ve been having some Internet connectivity problems and I haven’t listened to your podcasts in awhile, but hopeful soon I can. They are also helpful.

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  4. Pingback: Ep 8! Street smarts and survival tips for the sensitive! | Kate Sitka

  5. THANK YOUUU. for bringing this about. I needed to hear it. ive been in flight mode lately here with the family. I guess I have been energetically lazy, or its just so easy to go into old patterns around family and familiarity. bahhhh thank you!!!!!!!!!

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  6. Pingback: Can we actually change pain into peace? | Kate Sitka - Worldwide Hippies

  7. Pingback: Can we actually change pain into peace? | Kate Sitka - Worldwide Hippies

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