Cultivating neutrality is how I describe the process of acquiring equanimity. What I mean by this is a state where you are neither happy nor sad, neither elevated nor depressed, but simply neutral. I think the edict that Americans are entitled to “life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness” creates a problem that goes largely unexamined in our culture.
There is a significant difference between pursuing happiness and simply being happy, and many people get caught up in the pursuit without ever really “catching” happiness. The staggering number of people who are on antidepressants is evidence alone that something is not working.
Often, if people suffer from depression, they feel a lot of pressure to be happy, but the distance between the low of depression and the high of happiness can seem like such a long way to go. Unable to get to happiness or to hold it once they may fleetingly experience it, they slip back down into depression.
People try to think positively, only to find themselves completely overrun with negative feelings and self-reproach. They are gripped by the fear that something is going to come along to take away their happiness, and so they have a hard time even letting themselves feel it for fear of losing it.
Life Is Full of Ups and Downs
When we cultivate neutrality, we don’t have to worry about any of this. We understand that life is full of ups and downs; good things happen and bad things happen, and that is the nature of life. We allow ourselves to feel all of our emotions as they arise, labeling none of them as “good” or “bad,” but simply seeing that they are part of the human experience. We allow them to play out as they need to with a good laugh or a good cry or maybe a brisk walk or some deep housecleaning if we are angry.
When we allow our emotions to run their course, without judging them or repressing them or thinking we shouldn’t be feeling them, they move on. It’s only when we resist them, repress them, or judge them that they tend to stick around and create problems.
Neutrality is the place that we return to once the highs or lows have passed. And in neutrality, there is a certain peace—nowhere to go, nothing to do, nothing to fix, no agenda to push, no axe to grind, nothing to be except simply present. This is a lovely space, a state of mind where you can enjoy true rest, where there is no charge of happiness to maintain, no charge of sadness to wallow in or seek to escape from, and the place from where we can create our reality.
You Are Worthy
When I first started working with tuning forks, I was very surprised to discover that underneath every person’s “noise” is a harmonic signal. And when that signal came through clearly, the person was what I can only describe as “great.” I kept coming home and saying to my husband, “That person I worked on today was great!” I kept being somewhat astounded to discover this in virtually everyone.
Reflecting on my surprise made me realize that I had always just assumed, based on what I had been taught, that humans were imperfect, that we were fallen from grace, that we were fatally flawed somehow. Our Christian cosmology, even in our supposedly secular culture, had wormed its way into my brain and formed a subconscious belief that I was a “guilty sinner.”
Even though I was actually raised in a religion-free home, the ubiquitous story of Adam and Eve and how they blew it—especially her—had apparently shaped my thinking without me realizing it. So here I was, surprised to see that this was not true—that here was the potential of perfect harmony, an aspect of humanness that was not out of sync with the universe, not out of step with nature, but actually quite in sync, beautifully, pleasingly, even jaw-droppingly in sync. I have never worked on anyone who does not have this harmonic potential.
Do You Associate with your Pain Body?
The thing is that most of us associate with what spiritual teacher Eckhart Tolle calls our pain body. This is the aspect of the self that has borne all the wounds of one’s lifetime—traumas small and large, on every level of being. These can even be inherited traumas that have been vibrationally encoded into our energetic blueprint.
Most of us don’t believe that clear harmony exists as a potential within each of us, and even if we did, the belief that we are not worthy would get in the way. I have found at the kernel of every dysfunction, at the core of every issue, this belief: I am not worthy.
I invite you to see where and how I’m not worthy shows up in your mind and in your life. I think it will surprise you how it is hidden in plain view everywhere. Your worthiness has nothing to do with anything you do—it simply is what you are.
That you are not worthy is a lie; you are worthy, most worthy of simple harmony in your body, mind, and spirit, simply because that is the essence of who and what you truly are.
Love, the Ultimate Healing Tool
When I turned forty-one, my son Quinn said to me, “Next year you are going to be the answer to life, the universe, and everything!” He was referring to the fact that forty-two is the number that answers that question in the iconic book The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy. So when I turned forty-two, this was on my mind. It just so happened that at the time I was doing research on plasma and sacred geometry as an independent study for my master’s degree, and so I was actually thinking about these subjects quite a lot.
One morning I was in Burlington having my car serviced and spent some time waiting and having breakfast in a café there. It suddenly came to me that I wanted to write, but I had no paper of any kind except for my appointment book. I opened up to the block schedule planner in the back and promptly wrote the poem below, putting each line in one of the boxes. I am not inclined to write poetry; in fact, I had quite a run-in with my sophomore English teacher in high school around poetry because I thought poems were silly and didn’t want to have to write any, but this poem just sort of happened.
I have figured out the answer to life, the universe, and everything
And it is . . .
Love does make the world go ’round
The strong force? Love
The weak force? Love
LOVE LOVE LOVE
Could it be more simple?
Could it be more obvious?
But we don’t see it
Right in front of us
All the time
We don’t see it
We don’t get it
We are looking for something more
But there is nothing more than
Love is all there is
Love is the driving force of the universe
Of all creation
Pi = Love
Phi = Love
E = mc2 = love
It is all
LOVE LOVE LOVE
Love is what heals you. Any place where you are not healed, you are not letting love happen in you, you are not loving yourself.
What We Think or What We Say Matters
We have been taught that it is wrong to love ourselves, that it is selfish to love ourselves. It’s okay and appropriate to love others, to have compassion for others, but not ourselves. This is a lie. This is why so many people are sick.
We’ve been taught that it doesn’t matter what we think or what we say, because we have no power. We believe we are powerless, because we do not understand the power of the word. We do not realize how creative words are.
One of the things I always say at lectures is that as a sound healer, I have learned that the most powerful thing in the universe is right under your nose . . . and it’s your mouth. By our words we create our lives.
What kinds of stories are you telling yourself and others about who you are? Healing is being willing to detach from your stories, to be willing to go into neutral and be open to other possibilities, to believe that you are worthy of those possibilities, to allow yourself to simply rest in the essence of the universe, which is, simply, love.
Reprinted with permission of the publisher, Healing Arts Press.
©2014 by Eileen Day McKusick. www.InnerTraditions.com
Tuning the Human Biofield: Healing with Vibrational Sound Therapy
by Eileen Day McKusick.
About the Author
Eileen Day McKusick is a researcher, writer, educator and therapist who has been studying the effects of audible sound on the human body since 1996. She is the originator of a unique sound therapy method called Sound Balancing that uses tuning forks to detect and correct distortions and static in the biofield (human energy field/aura). Eileen has an MA in Integrative Education and teaches a course on Sound Healing in the Wellness and Alternative Medicine program at Johnson State College in Johnson, Vermont; teaches the Sound Balancing method privately; and maintains a busy sound therapy practice. You can visit her website at www.eileenmckusick.com