Grasping at Self

Many spiritual people believe that sickness, of the mind or the body has little to distinguish them from one another. As the years go by, and they do so quickly, we experience ailments. These ailments trigger our anxieties. Not feeling well is actually a magnet for anxiety. It reminds us of our frailty and mortality. Being aware of our mortality can often assist us in being in the now moment. Minor illnesses can help us to remember we are human.


The mind has a more difficult time healing the physical body than it does the emotional body. Neurologists are beginning to do case studies of the subconscious and the part it plays in healing the physical body. In some cases, the mind alone can heal physical sickness, even where conventional medicine has failed. I have personally experienced it.


In addition to Neurologists, Buddhists also believe that the mind can heal the physical and emotional body. For all of us, sickness can provide an opportunity to slow down, let go, and appreciate life even in the midst of suffering. Sickness can be a broom we are given to sweep our lives clean of the accumulations of negative attitudes and emotions.


Many of us have experienced tragedies in our lives and for some of us there have been multiple tragedies.These can cause real sickness. Conventional medicine often can not cure these illnesses. Doctors do all they can to the best of their abilities but nothing completely works. But by using the subconscious to help, the emotions and the physical body can be used to release the past from its control of the present.


When we experience tragedy, physical or emotional, even if we go to therapy and “work it through” often the subconscious continues to hold on to it. The mind’s conscious level has let go of the incidents but the subconscious still has a grip and it can be strong. It can make you very ill, even for years.


I am excited that conventional medicine is beginning to study how our minds make all of this happen. I am excited that there are doctors who are studying this with their patients. This is more than “thinking positive.” Positive thoughts make anything somewhat better and easier to tolerate. Meditation can help. For instance, I found that Transcendental Meditation often helps with chronic pain. It also helps to remember that sickness is impermanent.


Neurologists have found that talking to the subconscious can help. Reassuring it that you are safe, whatever has happened in the past will not occur again and if it did; you would handle it differently. Chanting ” Thank you” for your body a hundred times several times a day can make big changes.


Take good care of yourself and your body. Eat healthy, exercise and remember there is no blame in the work of healing. Do not grasp at self as this can cause illness and suffering. Remember that a good joke can help with healing. Be open to any approach which might help. This should definitely include conventional medicine as well as alternative forms of healing. Also remember that balance in life helps us to heal and to remain healthy.


Be kind to anger, fear, or discouragement as they arise. Even if they are strong or persistent, be patient with them and it helps to bring them into balance. This assists the body in its healing.








Botanical Garden, Asheville, NC. Photograph and copyright by Barbara Mattio 2013

Botanical Garden, Asheville, NC. Photograph and copyright by Barbara Mattio 2013

Artistic Voice

Charcoal sketch by Barbara Mattio

We are creative by nature, not choice. Creativity seeks us out. This must just be accepted. Finding your artistic voice can be like trying to move a boulder. Slow progress and time may pass before you may see measurable progress.

An artist needs balance in his/her life. The myth that artist must suffer is just that a myth. So don’t invest in the myth. Don’t force your creativity into a square others think it should be in. There is no reason to create drama or hardship to fuel your talents. Life will provide plenty itself.

Don’t try to force your talent and work to grow as an artist without concern with where the art is taking you. This is true for all mediums, including music, acting, performance art or sculpting.

What the artistic person creates is a representation of your subconsciousness. Don’t get bogged down with past failures, or a creative block. This will stop you from living in the present moment and enjoying the beauty of the day.

You can’t be your own critic and need to silence your doubts. I realize that that is a constant struggle. This is a huge block to finding your artistic voice.

When you are working and in the zone and the creativity is just streaming and uninhibited, you are releasing your creative voice. You approach artistic purity when your work is absent of everyday concerns. You have given yourself over to the flow of the subconscious mind. The great Masters worked from this place within themselves. Remember, anything is attainable and never limit yourself. Art is communication and you are creating that conversation.