“At any moment we can choose peace over conflict–and love over fear.” — Jerry Jampolsky, M.D.
In the next few blog posts, I’ll share the Twelve Principles of Attitudinal Healing (AH). It’s best to find a group in your local area to support you in applying these ideas.
How Did Attitudinal Healing Start?
Dr. Jerry Jampolsky, a graduate of Stanford Medical School, was a child and adult psychiatrist. One day, he overheard a young boy with leukemia ask the doctor, “What is it like to die?” The doctor changed the subject and asked the child about his bowel movements. Jerry decided to create a safe place for kids facing life-threatening illness to honestly discuss their own questions and fears. Out of these groups (and greatly influenced by A Course in Miracles) the 12 Principles of Attitudinal Healing arose. Since 1975, thousands of groups–for all kinds of life challenges–exist all over the world and in most major US cities.
What Attitudinal Healing?
It is not just adjusting or adapting our attitudes. Rather, it’s consciously choosing to let go of our fearful attitudes. This spiritual pathway uses no “God” language, and seeks to adopt a non-judgmental attitude toward oneself, others, and the world. The goal is not to change behavior, but to retrain and reprogram our own mind. We learn to heal relationships, to experience peace of mind, and to let go of our fears.
Principle 1. The Essence of our Being is Love, and Love is Eternal
Attitudinal Healing is really concerned with experiencing love rather than defining it. Love itself is a pure energy force that flows through us. It remains constant and eternal.
If this energy is not blocked by pain, anxiety, anger and other manifestations of fear, we can recognize the essence of love and learn to feel peaceful inside. It is important to constantly work at clearing our minds and realize that the energy of love is all there is, and that which we call negative emotions keeps us from this sensation.
We can learn to experience a life that is about loving ourselves and extending that love to others. This is different than the way much of society views love. To the world, love is something that we want to GET from someone else coupled with the fear that we won’t have enough. When we live in this fear we are unable to give love freely. That is the work of the ego.
Love, which cannot be evaluated or measured is to be shared. The essence of love plays a large part in physical healing, as illustrated by this story.
In one of our groups at our Center, a woman in her mid-fifties was complaining that she had been plagued by a constant back pain for about nine years. We asked her if she would be willing to partake in a small experiment. We then asked the group of about fifteen people if they would be willing to send this woman love with their thoughts for about thirty seconds. We then asked the woman if she would be willing to send love back to the group at the same time. It was a wonderful half a minute as we all focused on the single goal of sending love to another. When the thirty seconds were up, it was tempting to evaluate what had transpired. But we cautioned about that, and the meeting continued on with much deeper sharing. At the end of the meeting, the woman with the back pain excitedly said, “I just can’t stand it. I have to tell you that for the last hour I have not had any pain in my back.”
What occurred in this meeting was not something tangible that could be seen or measured. The only thing that was happening was the intent to feel love for this woman. My goal was not to take her pain away or make myself feel better. It was only to be in the present, send love, and not be concerned with the outcome. It was a powerful lesson to realize that loving thoughts can be transmitted clearly and felt by another at a deep level.
(All content here is quoted or summarized from A Definition of the Principles of Attitudinal Healing by Patricia Robinson (Forward by Gerald Jampolsky, founder of AH)
Meet Jerry Jampolsky
Listen to Jerry explain Attitudinal Healing here.
So, What Do You Think? Pretty Great Stuff, aye? And Here’s More!
Gigi Langer has been sober 35 years, and holds a PhD in Psychological Studies in Education from Stanford University. Formerly crowned the “Queen of Worry,” Gigi resigned her post many years ago and now lives happily in Florida with her husband, Peter and her cat, Easter.