In many lingering, chronic ailments there are one or more “maintaining causes” that continue to cause disharmony, unless they are dealt with. Ultimately, only the individual affected can truly address these issues and eliminate them.

The following is an outline of a thorough method of identifying and changing the causes of your illness, so far as your personal power enables you to do so. By taking responsibility in this way, you become a true self-healer instead of a victim of disease.

Clearly, not every aspect of a poor health condition can be affected by this process. Those with genetic conditions, for instance, certainly need outside help. However, it would be incorrect to think of this process merely as a psychological exercise. There are many people in history who overcame significant obstacles through a rigorous and systematic process of self-examination. To give just one example, F.M. Alexander overcame a severe throat condition that threatened to derail his acting career, after all of his doctors had given up on him, by sheer intensity of observation and practice.

You spend more time with yourself than anybody else. Therefore, you have a greater probability of affecting yourself than anybody else. Most people merely lack a progressive method of doing so, and have to either invent one or adopt someone else’s.

Here, I guide you through creating your own method of self-observation and self-healing.

This work should be done on a daily basis. It can be time- and energy-intensive, but it is time and energy well-spent. It follows the philosophy that the better you know yourself, the better you are at healing yourself.

1. Exploration
The first step in this work is to get a journal; this journal should be kept private and no one else should be allowed to read it. Privacy is necessary to allow you to be very, very honest with yourself, and this is the key to being effective in this process. However, you may share things out of this journal with others, as you see fit.

Take this journalling seriously if you want to see results. This work is the most important step you can make to assure your own success at self-healing. Please put some time into it.

a. Description.
Write down a thorough description of the issue or problem you want to work with.

Describe how it feels in the present and recent past.

  • What are its qualities and characteristics?
  • How consistent is it? How does it vary?
  • How strong is it?
  • Where and how does it affect you?
  • What makes it better, what makes it worse?
  • How does it affect your daily functioning?

Next, write down a thorough description of your history with this issue.

  • When did this issue first appear? How long have you been dealing with it?
  • How has it progressed or changed?
  • What are the ways that you have tried to deal with it?

It will be helpful to spend some time in relaxed contemplation/meditation, to help you answer these questions.

b. Causes.
Look at the issue from every angle and ask yourself:

What is the root cause of this issue in my life?

Why am I facing this specific issue?

What can I learn from the experience of living with this issue in my life?

What is it trying to teach me?

c. Visualizing a Resolution.
Write down, in your journal, a description of what you think the resolution of this issue would mean to your life. What do you imagine your life would feel like to you if this issue were resolved? Let your imagination fly and indulge yourself in fantasy.

d. Compare and Contrast.
Examine the differences between everything you’ve already learned about the issue at hand and, in contrast, your fantasy of what your life would be like if this issue were resolved. Try to picture yourself walking between these two points and as you traverse the difference, ask yourself:

What personal strengths do I already possess that will aid me in resolving this issue?

What are the positive things in my life right now which will aid me in this journey toward wellness?

What parts of myself can I rely upon in my process of self-healing?

Which parts of myself, if I strengthened them, would also aid me?

2. Strategy

Ask yourself what steps must be taken to get from where you are right now to where you want to be in relation to this issue.

Picture yourself taking those steps. Imagine what it would feel like to go through those steps and arrive at your goal.

Then, create a strategy or plan for how you will indeed take those steps toward wellness that you perceived in your previous self-analysis.

Think about everything you’ve learned about the issue so far; about how it affects you, about how its resolution feels to you, about the lessons to be learned and the root cause, and about your own strengths and weaknesses.

Consider the steps that you need to take to achieve wellness, write them down in sequential order and number them consecutively. If any of these steps feels too big for you to seriously achieve, then break them down into a series of smaller steps and create a list of sub-steps.

Write all of this down in your journal.

3. Action

This final step is open ended and pertains to the actual work of self-transformation, of actually taking those steps toward wellness.

If you need to address more than one issue, then you must choose which issue you want to address first, and you must commit yourself to seeing that issue through until resolution.

I suggest that you begin either with the issue that is the most difficult or problematic for you, or the one you feel will be the easiest to resolve.

Up till now, you have been involved in analysis, and while introspection is transformative in its own right, it alone is not enough to achieve the wellness you seek. That requires action.

In this context of achieving wellness, self-transformational action is primarily a process of replacing negative habits of thinking and behavior with positive alternatives to those negative habits. In other words, a positive habit is put in the place of the negative habit and the negative habit is discarded.

As each negative habit that has kept us rooted in un-wellness is replaced by a positive habit which leads us toward wellness, we take another step toward our goal.

Here are just a few tools you can use.

Autosuggestion or Affirmation

Habits are mostly unconscious things. We do them because we’re used to doing them and we do them without forethought or much in the way of conscious intention.

Therefore, one of the most important keys to the transformation of a negative habit is to interrupt that unconscious process by directly affecting the subconscious mind. This is done through auto-suggestion. This is more than just the saying of pretty and supportive phrases to yourself. Instead, it is a tool which should be taken with seriousness.

Begin by creating for yourself a positive affirmation that expresses or somehow captures and reinforces the positive habit you wish to encourage. This phrase must be in the affirmative, command mode. For example, if I wanted to quit smoking, I’d say something like; “I’m a healthy, happy non-smoker!” Or if I wanted to transform self-loathing, I’d say something like; “I accept myself as I am!” Your phrase should be simple and to the point and it should not be something like “I won’t smoke anymore” or “I don’t think I’m worthless.” Instead it must be affirming and be something you can say with conviction and pleasure. It must lead you forward instead of reminding you of your past negative habit.

Once you have designed your affirmation you can begin using it. The times when the normal barrier between your subconscious mind and your conscious awareness is its weakest are just upon waking from sleep and just as you’re falling into sleep. Therefore, these are the times when it is most opportune for you to repeat your affirmation. I suggest 30-40 repetitions as a nightly and morning standard. Every morning, just as you are waking and before you leave your bed, repeat your affirmation in your mind 30-40 times in a row.

Don’t hurry through it! You must mean what you’re saying to yourself, each time you say it. This places your affirmation into your subconscious mind where it will continuously affect you throughout your day.

Once your repetitions are complete, get out of bed and go about your day. Throughout your day, whenever it comes to mind, consciously think about your affirmation and repeat it a few times in your mind. This will strengthen your affirmation within your subconscious mind and help integrate it into your conscious behavior.

And then, after you’ve gotten in bed and are ready to drift off into sleep, repeat your affirmation another 30-40 times more. This will again insert your affirmation firmly into your subconscious mind where it will affect your dreams.

Prayer is another method of self-transformation, similar to autosuggestion, only with prayer you are actively inviting Christ or God or some other higher power to enter you to change your life. The principle is similar.


Whenever the opportunity arises and/or the mood strikes you, spend some time meditating upon the issue you’re working to transform. Review the progress you’ve made and congratulate yourself for it. Examine how far you have yet to go and review the steps ahead of you in your path toward wellness.

Meditate often upon your affirmation as this will deepen its effectiveness. Focus upon experiencing it as a fact that has already come to pass instead of as just a hopeful aspiration.

Concrete Action: Substitution of Positive Alternative

This is the most concrete type of self-transformational action and, in the end, it’s the most important.

Your use of auto-suggestion will disrupt the normal flow of unconscious behavior and you will find that when your negative habit asserts itself, you are consciously aware of its arousal.

Concrete action occurs in that moment when you first realize the negative habit has arisen. That specific moment is a place of great personal power! In that brief moment before you give yourself over wholly to the negative habit, you possess the power to choose. You can choose to give yourself over to it or, you can choose to follow your positive alternative habit instead.

Concrete action is simply making the choice to follow the positive alternative instead of the negative habit. In that moment of choice, you must willfully shift your mind to the positive track and follow it.

There are three necessary ingredients to this technique.

First is the awareness that the negative habit has asserted itself or is about to assert itself. This comes as a byproduct of your understanding the circumstances which normally elicit the habitual reaction and as a result of your having interrupted the normal flow of unconscious behavior. Once you perceive that moment of choice, you must stop yourself and focus upon the fact that you are in a moment of choice.

Second is that you already have in mind the positive alternative which you must choose to follow. In other words, you must plan ahead and have previously determined what you will substitute in place of the negative habit. In that moment of choice you must act quickly and decisively! There’s no time for thinking up an alternative and if you do take the time then, the moment will be lost and the opportunity for self-change missed.

Third is sufficient willpower to affect a change of course. Habits have their own power, accumulated over years of unconsciously giving in to them, so it takes a force of will to choose an alternate path. However, your work with auto-suggestion and meditation will help build up the strength of your will, especially your will to succeed in your self-transformation. If you find that your will is weak, then spend more time in meditation convincing yourself of your ability to succeed and deepen your commitment to persevere until this issue is finally, once and for all resolved. Don’t let anything stop you!

This process is a powerful and direct method, but it can also be difficult, especially in the beginning. It takes time and effort. But it works.

So, there you have it. Do not rush, challenge yourself but don’t demand too much. Expect to have ups and downs; this is natural. Take it slowly and deliberately, and I think you will gradually but steadily make progress toward your goals.

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