My Journey as a Health and Wellness provider started in my teens when I studied Christianity and achieved a one-year bible degree. In my 20’s when I became a fitness instructor and continued to study western religion, and psychology. I became a yoga instructor shortly after turning 30 and studied yoga philosophy, eastern religions, and spirituality. I found a powerful guru known as Amma and studied non-dualism (Advaita Makaranda) in my transpersonal clinical psychology doctoral program. It was also in my Doctoral program I discovered energy psychology and became a Certified Energy Health Profession through the Association of Comprehensive Energy Psychology.
For 30 years I have learned many styles of yoga and energy techniques to assist my clients in their health, wellness, and goal achievement. I attended a two-hour workshop addressing a non-dual approach to therapy. I took the workshop and knew immediately I needed to immerse myself and be trained in this therapy. The therapy is called, Acceptance And Integration Therapy (AAIT). I felt like I came home in finding AAIT because it is congruent with yoga and non-dualism philosophy. I’ve experienced many transformations with AAIT and I’m having amazing success with my coaching clients.
Yoga essentially means yoking together, union like in marriage, and harmonious balance between parts. Traditionally this is a marriage between the Self within us and the rest of us. The Self is referred to the “God Stuff’, Divine Light, the Absolute, Breath of Life, however you wish to call it (words are inadequate to describe it). Non-Dual texts known as Vedanta date back at least 11th century South India refer to gaining knowledge of The Self, and its relationship with the world and God. The nature of the Self is free from duality. The Self is outside of creation therefore, free of change and is timeless existence.
Always I am
Always I shine
Never am I an object of dislike to myself
Therefore, it is established
That I am that
Which is of the Nature of existence,
Awareness, and fullness.
Advaita Makaranda Verse Two,
Translation by Ann Berliner
Almost 30 years, I was graced with a non-dual experience. I did not deserve it and I did nothing to obtain it. In fact, I was full of suffering and my suffering was basically caused by my attachments and desires, particularly over a relationship and feelings of loneliness, sadness, and despair. The experience was so powerful I was afraid of it, but it also gave me a lasting impression that this was extremely fulfilling and blissful. I knew there was absolutely nothing our human experience living on this earth can compare what I experienced and it’s extremely difficult to put words to it. In fact, talking about it would lessen or cheapen the experience.
So, what does non-dualism have to do with AAIT and helping people?
We live in a world of duality and judgments! We judge ourselves and others, we are angry, we are calm, we are fearful, we are secure, we are joyful, and we are sorrowful and sometimes we experience it all at the same time! Through Acceptance and Integration, the charged pain tends to be neutralized when we can integrate mental and emotional opposites. In that neutral space, free of reactive charge, we can access a wider perspective of options. The space between stimulus and response opens.
For me personally, I have found valuable insights into acceptance and integration of my suffering or negative thoughts/feelings as well as my positives mental states. I have also seen who I am and my purpose in life, regardless of how often I get sidetracked by my attachments and sufferings.