The Spiral: Clearing Unconscious Emotional Baggage
CURIOSITY DIDN’T QUITE KILL THIS LITTLE CAT.
Over the past couple of months I was repeatedly noticing people on social media praise this transformative process they'd gone through, known as The Spiral. I didn't pay too much attention at first, but eventually curiosity got the better of me and I purchased the book 'Clear Your Shit', written by the founder of this method, Dane Tomas.
In short, the process in the book uses Kinesiology techniques (gentle muscle-testing/muscle-monitoring to access information from the subconscious mind, to identify and address imbalances in the physical, mental, emotional or energetic body) which one can practice and perform on themselves.
This work combined several different modalities, such as Eastern viewpoints on the Chakra system, and Western behavioural models such as Spiral Dynamics; a framework that outlines the development and evolution of the human psyche, and the correlation with the stages of growth in society. The techniques and methods in the book seemed interesting enough, but I wasn't committed to incorporate this practice into my daily life. Still, my curiosity won over, and I was drawn to find out why so many people were celebrating this seemingly life changing modality, so I decided to jump on board and get some hands on experience with the creator of The Spiral, to see what it was all about.
DYSFUNCTIONAL EMOTIONAL CONDITIONING.
We carry habits, patterns and conditioning from our earliest childhood experiences, most of which are unconscious to us. Unless we become self-aware enough to engage in self reflection and self inquiry - to ask ourselves questions about who we really are, why we behave the way we do, and why we believe the things we believe, we'll almost always be operating out of a program that isn't even our own. We didn't get to choose it, it was ingrained in our system from a young age, thanks to parents, elders, teachers, society and culture.
Now when we initially have negative or unpleasant experiences, certain chemicals are released in the brain which produce an emotional response, which in turn causes some sort of reaction in the physical body, which is generally a feeling that we don't particularly like to feel. As we continue to live through similar experiences and feelings, these reactions become wired into our nervous system, and before we know it, we've been conditioned to behave in certain ways that may be completely detrimental to our overall health and well-being, all whilst being entirely unconscious of these habits and behaviours that have formed.
For example, when we feel anxiety, guilt, or anger, we may not have the knowledge or the tools to be able to process these emotions in a beneficial way. We may distract ourselves from feeling these fully, suppressing them as some sort of coping mechanism. Over time, because we don't have the means to let go and release these from our system, the body continues to store them, and becomes more susceptible to disease and poor-functioning, which is going to percolate through all aspects of one's life.
This process called The Spiral, is a way to clear out unconscious emotional baggage and obstructive behavioural conditioning, which may lead to maximising and unlocking someone's fullest potential.
Roughly 20 individuals, including myself, went through this 7 stage process over the course of the weekend, and I undoubtedly witnessed profound changes in many of these people. A lot of them went through deeply cathartic experiences, clearing out old stories and perceptions holding them back from living life to the fullest, gaining new-found self worth and self esteem, unlocking dormant creativity and opening their hearts to more vulnerability, love and peace.
I have no doubt this kind of work can have dramatic and deeply transformative effects on one's life, but I can't say that I received the same immediate noticeable benefits, not that I was expecting significant changes to occur. Of course, changes can take time to unfold, and healing on the subconscious level regarding patterns and behaviours within myself might have received a slight tweak in a preferable direction. It was still an interesting experience, and I picked up a few insights along the way.
THE CRUSHING GRIP OF JEALOUSY & THE WISDOM OF TRUST.
Throughout the process, we're asked to activate and embody specific emotions and feelings within ourselves, sit with them and get to know what they really feel like, before going through certain practices to help clear them out of the system. I was triggered by one thing in particular: Trust.
Although I came into this experience due to curiosity to see if I could gain anything in general, I honed in on a specific intention, which was to help clear any patterns regarding my debilitating jealousy issues from my past. For basically my whole adolescent and adult life, I'd been struck down with jealousy in relationships, like it was some kind of deadly contagious poison. I'd become jealous at partners for having friends of the opposite sex, for hanging out with or giving attention to other males, I'd compare myself to their ex partners and ex lovers, and come up with ridiculous scenarios and play them out in my head.
This toxic bitch had always pushed well beyond logic, rationality and reason. I wasn't really conscious of that at the time though, and these jealousy problems would eat me up inside like a corrosive liquid, eventually and inevitably deteriorating my long-term relationships. In recent times, I've been forced to come face to face with these feelings again. The first real time since I'd started this journey of self-awareness a year and a half ago.
I knew my jealousy stemmed from old insecurities. From fears of being inadequate. From placing my own self-worth in the hands of others and needing constant reassurance. From becoming attached and developing a crippling need for codependency. From not receiving the love that I needed as I was growing up, conditioning my perception that love was a scarcity. And the only way to cling on to that love, whilst bringing all of these fears and insecurities with me, was through monogamous relationships; an illusory concept of possession, safety and security.
Now I do believe that people can truly operate under the paradigm of strictly monogamous relationships. However under the context of my own situations, it was never real unconditional love. It was always love based on certain terms and conditions. And because that love was only being given under particular circumstances, there was always an element of possessiveness, control, expectation, manipulation, and attachment, like I felt I could have some sort of influence over someone else's life because MY happiness, self-worth, safety, security and connection depended on it.
Of course, there is mutual respect and compromises, but to what extent is making compromises for each other, compromising our own deepest authentic self-expression and freedom? There was no freedom there for anyone. If one truly loves another, the real unconditional love without attachment, it seems to me that the cage should be left open for the beautiful bird to have the choice to spread it's wings and fly in freedom, yet still be welcomed on return through the open hatch.
Under this lens of jealousy and insecurity, my own sanity and well-being used to balance precariously on my long-term partner's own habits, patterns, and conditioning. And to reach some sort of twisted equilibrium, I would justify my fears and insecurities by allowing myself superficial reassurance and self-worth by being unfaithful in a lot of my relationships.
How on Earth could I TRUST another in a relationship, if I couldn't even trust myself to be faithful? It clearly took a long time for me to reflect on my conditioning and perceptions of reality. It's different now though. I'm aware of the fact that I have these behaviours and automatic reactions ingrained in my system. I've spent time developing my character, my self-worth, my own internal trust.
It's still something I continue to work on. To trust my intuition. To trust that I can be impeccable with my word. To trust that I am where I am meant to be. To trust that all the challenges that come my way are there to help me grow, heal, and teach me valuable lessons. And I know that this ability to trust will continue to blossom in my relationships like a resilient wildflower.
Yet still, I fall off, but I always do my best. I understand that I'm only human, I understand that I have old programs instilled in my system, I hold compassion, I forgive, I get back up and continue to do my best. With the right tools & knowledge, conscious decision making, courage to embrace any unpleasant feelings, humility & vulnerability, and practice & discipline, all of which I have continued to cultivate over time, I now have the power to choose how I wish to respond to these obstructive negative emotional behaviours, eventually rewiring and retraining new healthy patterns into my system.
I'm not sure the wounded child within will ever just disappear, but I know that 30 year old Chris with the wisdom, insight, character and mindset, can nurture and embrace the broken boy within, and I feel this is where a lot of the healing begins. So perhaps The Spiral process DID help out with some subconscious softening around these old non-serving dogmas. It's hard to tell at this stage though, since these are all processes that I've actively been working on for some time now.
On top of all of that, I did revisit some important insights relating to purpose - to always try and act from the highest of virtues possible, to keep striving to become the best version of myself possible, and to be a beacon of light to help guide others to illuminate their own paths.
The Spiral genuinely seems like a process that can help people take that next step in accelerating their evolution. Although it wasn't incredibly profound for me during the workshop, I saw first hand the benefit that others received.
Who honestly wants to be held back in life by limiting beliefs, negative behaviours and emotional conditioning? This certainly seems like one potential avenue to explore when it comes to clearing your shit and gaining some new tools to unlock your fullest potential.