Strange as this may sound, the word contagious has both negative and positive connotations. When a person has an infectious disease, it is best to avoid exposure. On the other hand, when a person lends a helping hand to another, their compassion and connection can be transferred. Giving a ride to a stranded person; sending flowers to a sick person; responding empathically to another’s woes; or donating to a worthy cause are all examples of the upside of contagious.
Similarly, ideas are transmittable. That’s why books are written—including my forthcoming book The Paradoxical Return of the Feminine: Raising Awareness and Creating Peace. In this memoir/guidebook, I share information about what I learned from others as well as understandings that came from within myself. For example, mentors have played an important role in my development. And my own insights often came from dreams that both illuminated issues in need of resolution and also sometimes indicated pathways to change. Both of these examples demonstrate the transmission of ideas. Of course there are many ways to heal oneself, and what is good for the goose may not be good for the gander. That is why I encourage readers to become aware and cultivate the inner wisdom.
The Paradoxical Return of the Feminine offers in-depth information about various ways of healing—physically, emotionally, and spiritually—including little-known methods that indeed result in positive outcomes. When readers pursue the same or similar healing methods, they are doing so by contagious association! One healing modality I use is the FACE meditation. Remarkably, this is an easy practice that can be done at any time to increase well-being and inner strength. Originated by a clinical psychologist, Christopher Germer, PhD, in his book The Mindful Path to Self-Compassion, this meditation can be used when a person experiences a difficult emotion or pain. You can experience this yourself by relaxing into a comfortable position, closing your eyes, and beginning with
- F—feel the pain or emotion;
- A—accept it;
- C—compassionately respond; and
- E—expect skillful action or a favorable outcome.
I use this meditation quite frequently and have found it very helpful, especially when I experience a difficult emotion. Not surprisingly, via being contagious I suggest you try this meditation several times before you decide whether it is right for you—and please comment here about your efforts, whether positive or not. Who knows how your feedback may spread to readers who, by contagious transmission, will try it for themselves in a successful way!
Jeannette M. Gagan, PhD is an award-winning Author, licensed psychologist, shamanic practitioner, and an Ambassador for Peace. Over the years she has learned to use writing as a platform to educate, celebrate progress, and set new goals for PEACE within for all.