There is so much hype about metaphysically and holistically ridding yourself of what is toxic to you that makes it even more difficult to know what is and is not. I think it is so important to clarify what all this means – and doesn’t mean – and then how to clear yourself from what really is poisonous for your body, mind and spirit, ongoing.
How do we know what is emotionally toxic? Here are ten primary symptoms:
1. Feeling you can’t access much – or any – sense of peace in your life.
2. Physical or mental illness.
3. Feeling perpetually stressed, tired and worn out.
4. Loss of self-esteem.
5. Difficulty deciding to do much of anything, let alone taking action.
6. Fearful and anxious, ongoing, about past/present/future.
7. Hopelessness and despair.
8. Feeling like a victim.
9. Compromised sleeping and/or eating.
10. Expressed a lot of “acting out” emotions such as rage, guilt, blame, and obsessive thinking/faulty belief systems.
Now to Know Your Sources of Emotional Toxicity
How can you identify what in your life is emotionally toxic? List everything you are centrally involved with, including key relationships; and especially what you are worried about.
Then go back down your list and focus on each item for a minute or so. Record your sensations, especially how you feel.
Any of these match or seem to resonate with any of the ten symptoms listed above? Those would identify what in your life is emotionally toxic for you.
Cleanse Toxicity Through Shamanic Healing
I was moved to further explore this topic, which comes up so frequently in my work with clients, through shamanic healing, which I have done since early childhood. I turned to Jamie Sams’ Medicine Cards as my still-favorite resource, which I continue to recommend to anyone wanting to explore this ancient healing practice that is founded on working with nonhuman totems, or guides, as sources of body/mind/spirit healing and empowerment.
Through my own guided meditation I was led to connect with the frog totem, whose core meaning Jamie Sams states is “cleansing”. She also writes that the frog totem is strongly associated with the element of water, which of course is also a key metaphor for emotional expression.
How Does Shamanic Healing Work?
Shamanic journeying, practiced long before recorded history by tribes all over the earth, would involve the shaman, or healer of the tribe, going into a self-induced trance which would unfold as an inner waking dream. The shaman believed she or he would leave the physical world and enter the spiritual world to discover their totems, who would offer strong, effective guidance.
Shamans also believed totems could be called upon any time, anywhere to continue this higher support and guidance. I invite you to explore in this way this symbol of emotional cleansing through the following guided meditation:
Settle back into a comfortable, supported, relaxed position and close your eyes. Count 10 easy, regular, deep breaths to yourself.
For these next several breaths, as you inhale say to yourself the phrase receive spirit, and as you exhale say to yourself the phrase release spirit. Imagine more and more, with every easy, automatic breath you continue to take, you are drawn into the spiritual realm of infinite possibilities, however you picture and sense this occurs.
Now imagine you can easily call on the frog as your guide to cleanse yourself and your life, and experience whatever unfolds. Note how you feel throughout, and any other sensations that occur as you picture yourself taken on this journey of multidimensional cleansing.
Say to yourself several times throughout this journey, I release all that is toxic in my life, and continue to experience wherever you are led. When you feel complete in this experience for now, imagine you thank your frog totem for all that has occurred to produce this ongoing cleansing and release from whatever is toxic in your life.
How to Follow Up for Greatest Effect
Then easily, gradually return to full, waking consciousness and open your eyes. Sit with your experience for a few minutes and write/draw what happened, recording any insights that occurred.
Try imagining you can call on your frog totem every day for the next several weeks to continue to support and sustain your cleansing – and be prepared for a better, clearer, lighter life! And don’t forget to journal a bit about what happens – that always enhances and reinforces even more powerful results!