Writing a “book report” for my blog is terribly schoolish—but it’s good because it makes me go back through the book, take a look at all the things I underlined or asterisked, and figure out what I want to incorporate in my memory and my life.
So yes, this post is a book report about Robert Bruce’s “Energy Work: The Secrets of Healing and Spiritual Growth,” which I really liked.
It is somehow so practical and so sincere. Bruce believes that we can all become aware of and develop our energy body, “energy body” being a term many writers prefer to leave shrouded in mystery. Bruce, however, clearly states that our energy body consists of the biomagnetic fields resulting from the bioelectrical activity of all of the cells in the body. He also believes that we are all capable of learning to use our energy for self-healing and healing of others.
He describes a method he has developed for doing this that involves techniques I’ve not encountered before—things like brushing and bouncing and wrapping. His system utilizes tactile imaging, rather than visualization, which he says most people can’t do, which turns them off from trying to do energy work. Tactile imaging involves focusing your awareness on a specific area of your body and moving that focus around, thereby stimulating the energy body. Actually, since my brain does not do pictures, I think this is what I do anyway, and it’s nice to have that affirmed.
Bruce also says that the strong sensations one experiences at first will always abate, as the body gets used to them—which I’ve certainly noticed and been disappointed by. I still remember the first time I felt qi between my hands, with my right hand being sucked towards my left. I always use the word “sucked” because the feeling was so distinct, so strong—but it doesn’t happen anymore and I cannot make it happen.
I was grateful, as well, for Bruce’s discussion of things that can happen when doing energy work, ranging from getting rashes and lumps—I wrote about that in my last post—to experiencing Kundalini activity.
I don’t plan to take on Bruce’s specific methods for working with one’s energy, at least right now, because I’m doing it another way. But here are three things that I think will be core take-aways for me:
1) Heart-centered healing: I love how simple this is. You inhale energy up through your feet and torso to your heart and then exhale it out through your shoulders, arms and hands, which can be placed wherever healing is needed, on your own body or someone else’s. Bruce offers many other healing techniques, but this is something I can remember and feel I might be able to do.
2) Bedtime foot massage: Bruce says that doing energy work right before tucking oneself into bed can be extremely powerful, since so much self-repair and growth occurs during sleep. He also writes about the importance of the feet as major conduits into the energy body, and says that even if you only do a bit of foot brushing before you go to sleep, you’ll have promoted healing and also beneficial dreaming. Foot massage! I can do this! Currently I do crossword puzzles before I go to sleep. What sort of dream fodder is that?
3) Intention and affirmations: Yes, I’ve certainly heard many a time that where your attention goes, your energy flows, and that intention is a critical element in all energy work. But Bruce says it so persuasively. He also writes about the power of affirmations, which I’ve flirted with in the past but have always felt slightly embarrassed by. Well, I’m going to try again—although I will remember something I read many years ago, one of those odd bits of flotsam that periodically resurfaces in my mind: Actress Mia Farrow was quoted as saying, “Be careful what you wish for,” in reference, I think, to dating Frank Sinatra—although my memory may be a bit warped, and the reference may have been to her even more ill-fated relationship with Woody Allen. In any event, I will be careful. The question is: What, really, do I want….