non consensual pelvic exams
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Medical Rape And The Need For Systemic Change

It has taken me a month to finish this blog post because I have been sitting with so many complex personal feelings and systemic concerns . It has activated deep rage about broader scale injustices as well as personal memories of outrage in my own family.

The subject matter my podcast guest A’magine and I focused on during our discussion about her documentary is justifiably dysregulating and I also wanted to digest some of my communities’ reactions to this information being shared before responding. Reading this could be activating so please choose wisely when to read it. Maybe put some sand bags on your feet, breathe deeply into your belly, have your dog close by, an Epsom salt bath waiting or arrange a call with a dear friend afterwards. Believe me, I had to have plenty of those conversations.

To heal the collective, we must first heal ourselves. Otherwise, what we dissociate from and/or deny in ourselves (or in others) creates blind spots and avoidance as well as prevents us from being able to see what is around us that needs our attention.

I felt rightfully agitated watching At Your Cervix, a documentary film by A’magine, about non consensual pelvic exams given to unconscious patients, who are receiving non related surgeries at teaching hospitals. Afterwards, I was eager to make the reality of this practice known to more people so it can stop. 

After all, awareness is the first step towards changing anything personally, socially, politically, and systemically even non consensual pelvic exams. If we do not turn towards something, acknowledge it as actively occurring or that it is possible, and know what our choices are, we can’t give consent, prevent it, or change an outcome.

Inside dual (black and white) thinking lives a binary that leaves everything that happens in the gray out of the picture and out of consciousness. This conditioned (and conditional) way of thinking creates denial of the complexity of humanity. Either something happened or it didn’t; a person is good or bad. If I haven’t experienced it, it must not have occurred. Yet, that is not the case. Just because your priest or biological father didn’t molest you, most of the world can now acknowledge it frequently happened globally, in the past, and continues to be a problem in the present.

And we urgently need new frameworks to be able to see things differently than we are trained to see them. We are always trying to make sense of the world around us and fit experiences and information into the reference points we have been taught. Once we have these frameworks, we look for familiarity to confirm that it is actually true. If we do not find that, then we may likely reject this new information. We want proof of our reality to be confirmed, otherwise, it feels too confusing and dissonant. It is easier to just say, “No, that isn’t true, that doesn’t happen.”

I watched a documentary about Ted Bundy, who was considered dreamy by female onlookers during his trial even as the details of the rapes and murders were described. Were these women able to hold both and or were they miraculously able to deny, not hear or see the facts? How many times do we need to hear on the news that the latest serial killer or kidnapper was nice and quiet and kept to himself? You can be a nonintrusive, even good neighbor, and also be a sociopath. 

We reduce and oversimplify to protect ourselves. We want to think we have control of the people around us. We know how things work. We know what to expect. We want to be seen as the “good guys” if the choice is either good or bad.

Out of a desire to increase awareness among doctors, psychiatrists, and psychotherapists, who work with survivors of trauma, as I do, I shared information about At Your Cervix on a ketamine-assisted psychotherapy listserv that I am on. Some of the responses from doctors were disheartening. One could think that this is a pre-filtered group of people who would want this information, care about injustice and abuses of power, especially inside the systems they were educated in. It was too close to home, apparently.

If you approach the world through a dualistic lens—to accept and acknowledge this reality among doctors and doctors in training, means you are either good or bad, and all doctors take an oath to do no harm, so this surely is not possible. This must be a practice in the past, must be done in less sophisticated hospitals, must be truly rare. Unfortunately, all they had to do was watch the film and read peer reviewed research to know this is a very active practice that is legal and continues to be done even in states where it is not legal.

To deny, dismiss and minimize is often the first response of a parent when a child comes forward to share they have been sexually abused by someone else in the family. I have firsthand experience with this in my own family. I have sat with clients eight hours a day for 20 years and can attest to this fear-based reaction inside their families too. This is what “we” do to rape victims who choose to go to court. This was also the response for generations when people accused priests of sexual assault and continues to be the argument of people who do not believe cognitive bias plays a role in police brutality.

The United States has grown increasingly polarized over the past eight years. If politics weren’t enough, COVID and the vaccine added to the black-and-white thinking that has erupted across North America. There is both a heightened culture of fear, as well as a growing culture of awareness and response-ability around shadowy behavior, whether it is sexual assault or police brutality. The systems in play keep a power-over versus mutual empowerment mentality in place.

How many black men need to be killed for people to stop denying police brutality and unconscious bias? How many adults accusing priests of sexual abuse needed to come forward before the Catholic Church actually addressed it and offered reparations, rather than denied it and sent the abusers to a different congregation to offend again?

Anytime people who’ve been victimized speak up, it is met with the same dismissal and denial and takes decades, if not generations, to be heard as valid. #Metoo started in 2006 and didn’t become widespread until 2017. Acknowledgment of pedophilia among priests in the Catholic church started in the mid-1980s and didn’t become a national scandal until early 2002. 

In 2021, 330,000 children were estimated to have been abused within the French Catholic Church over the past 50 years. Remember, this is only in France and doesn’t take into consideration those who are dead, didn’t come forward, or don’t remember. (https://apnews.com/article/france-catholic-church-sexual-abuse-c97ae78dd47426956b42d8d62f8103c2)

When I became a psychotherapist, there was no trauma training required for licensure and very little training around sexuality required. I trained extensively in working with trauma outside of graduate school, and also worked for years as a sex educator before licensure. 

I hope that things have changed. I hope that there is more curiosity and compassion, that basic awareness of a physiological response to trauma, how implicit versus explicit memory works, and statistics such as 1-in-3 women and 1-in-6 men (please note that most people, especially men, do not report sexual assault for decades, if ever) are understood to be conservative.

While some people may be on the ketamine-assisted psychotherapy list to ask purely pragmatic and logistical questions, i.e. about administering dosages, my assumption was most of us are also there to support people who likely have overwhelming histories of trauma, and enough anxiety and depression to bring them to ketamine for relief.

Ketamine is known to cause “k-holes,” which puts people into nonverbal and immobilized states, when administered in high doses. It is dissociative and can help people disconnect from ruminating thoughts and feelings too big to process otherwise. While this can be profoundly healing for some, this immobilized state can also be similar to the frozen state people found themselves in the past, when they were sexually assaulted, leaving them unable to consent or protect themselves.

One psychiatrist said the information about this documentary does not belong on this list. I disagree. Given that we are in a field of healing and treating trauma, and using strong medicines, such as ketamine to do it, it is everyone’s responsibility to be educated about trauma and consent from all possible angles.

I currently have a client who goes into a local clinic for Intramuscular (injections into the muscle which is stronger usually than a lozenge) sessions 2x a week. Beyond an initial consultation, he receives no counseling, is given the shot, and is left alone. No one is holding space or counseling him afterwards. Perhaps this is how the psychiatrist mentioned above administers Ketamine and hence is disinterested in what clients are coming in with and what they are feeling. Sadly, doctors and psychiatrists like this, who do not encourage awareness, support maintenance of systems that do not hold people accountable.

It is for the good of all to be informed and over-educated, especially as it pertains to abuses of power. Just as sexual abuse of power has erupted in other medicine guide communities in the past few years, it is better to address the shadow of a field rather than deny its existence. You cannot prevent something you are unwilling to look at. We all know how denial works in family systems. It is no different in other systems of power, whether that’s the church, medical field, the military, or government.

What comes out in the news is a result of the courageous few who report, as well as the “unlucky” few offenders who are caught. They are not the exceptions to the rule. We can all assume more of the abusive behavior is occurring and we would all be better served through increased awareness and accountability.

The same week that these doctors on this listserv were denying they received this kind of training around pelvic exams, my mom was in town. I shared a memory with her of a time I intervened while my stepdad was choking her. We then fled our home and hid out in a hotel for a week. This is a memory I have, but one my mom mostly dissociated from. She recalled packing the cooler with grapes and being in the hotel, but the details of why we left home were blank. 

I couldn’t forget it, because the rage I swallowed erupted that same day in ulcers down my throat, making it painful to speak and eat for that week. Both those who are abused as well as abusers can block out experiences that are too overwhelming to face. This happens around highly charged traumas, such as sexual assault and abuse, and police brutality, as well as minor incidents all the time.

How many of you have had a devastating experience, that the person who hurt you, or the bystander who witnessed it, denied or didn’t recall what happened? The person who caused hurt or harm is not inherently a bad person trying to gaslight (except when they are). Except for cases where abusers are sociopaths, either it was not memorable to them because it was not emotionally charged enough to create a permanent neural pathway, or they felt shame about it and dissociated to get through it. Either way, they tell the story to themselves and others that they believe, “It never happened.”

Four doctors on this list insisted they did not receive this kind of training on anesthetized patients. Maybe that is true, but again, I point to how common it is to engage in things and recall them differently than they occurred if you dissociated to get through them.

 Let’s assume that these doctors recalled their training accurately. I love that there are four of them on this list who were not subjected to this kind of training (and did not subject unconscious patients), but jumping to “I didn’t do that” is like saying, “I’m not a racist. I’m a good white person” in response to a conversation about systemic racism and oppression. How is concern and curiosity, versus defensiveness, not their immediate response?

One doctor doubted that the statistics about the number of students who do receive this training were actually accurate. None of them watched the documentary, but all clearly had a reaction.

For those who want to get in the weeds and argue about statistics, be dismissive, and over-intellectualize, I say “Bless Your Hearts” in the most Southern way possible, because really people, aren’t we beyond that? This condescending and nitpicking behavior walks the well trodden path of systemic racism and sexism deniers.

I have had numerous doctor and nurse clients who’ve survived the harrowing process of medical school. Maybe it’s just the medical staff that find me, given I am a trauma therapist, but what is repeatedly confirmed is that Western medicine is a hierarchical system similar to the military, in which very little is done to address the person with the most power when they are being abusive or inappropriate with subordinates. 

Similar to child sexual abuse cases, retribution is usually feared, which limits reporting. I’m psyched for those who had a different experience in med school. To the doctors who say they did not participate in non consensual pelvic exams, I ask, “What do you want other doctors to know about consent? Clearly you had a better experience.”

Perhaps those who were dismissive were among the elite, resilient beings who didn’t witness or experience abuse within this system. That doesn’t mean it doesn’t happen, and one might say they sound an awful lot like the kid in an abusive family, trauma bonded to their alcoholic parents, who abused their sibling(s), and denied their sibling’s experience because it differed from theirs. Or did it?

A doctor on this list voiced her fear that if practices, such as non consensual pelvic exams given by medical students to unconscious patients, are made more widely known that it could produce even more fear of medicine and people won’t seek necessary care. I get this. It is a valid concern. In her comment, I also hear a fear of guilt by association. 

If people know about this abuse then they will assume we are bad doctors or medical professionals who don’t care about consent. This attitude is dangerous because it supports a culture that allows suppressing people from speaking up to quell others’ fear. A historically similar approach was used to silence and deny abuse within the Catholic Church.

There is fear of change and revolution of old systems. You can choose to fight for things to remain the same, because that is how defensiveness comes across, or you can say one person being assaulted, one nonconsensual exam is one too many.

If you are a medical professional and are having a very big reaction to the information shared on my podcast, or this blog post, and are also unwilling to watch the documentary or go through the data–you are indeed a part of the problem. In fact, if you really are the 16% who did not have to sexually assault patients while they were passed out, I would think you would be even more willing to do something about widening the gap so that 16% becomes 20% and eventually 50% and hopefully 100%, so we make this heinous practice obsolete.

This is more information about the documentary:

https://www.atyourcervixmovie.com/at-your-cervix-is-a…/

You can listen to the podcast here: https://podcasts.apple.com/us/podcast/laid-open/id1591077284

If you’d like to communicate directly with one of the filmmakers, write to them here:

“Please feel free to pass my specific contact information (livia@atyourcervixmovie.com) on to any physician who cites their personal experience as evidence that non-consensual teaching practices are not widespread in American medical education. I would be happy to tell them about my experience on the other side of that issue as a patient who was used as a practice dummy without informed consent.

 In my experience, physicians often look back on their own training thinking they have done nothing wrong and caused no harm without realizing the problematic behavior they were engaging in because it was so normalized in their environment, and it is the patients who are left to suffer while they go on to perpetuate the same cycle with the next generation of aspiring doctors.”

 

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Show Notes Aline Ra M Episode
[00:00:00] Charna Cassell: Welcome back to Late Open Podcast. During my hiatus from recording , I’ve been building an online course on how to live the passionate, pleasure filled, peaceful life you want, reduce self sabotaging behavior, and gain control over your nervous system. [00:00:14] Charna Cassell: Creating courses for people around the world to understand the impact of trauma on their nervous system and relationships, and how they can heal is something I’ve wanted to do for over a decade. I’m thrilled it’s finally happening. I’ll keep you posted as to when it’s launching. For now, you can also sign up for my newsletter, read my blog, or send questions to be answered at charnacassell.[00:00:38] Charna Cassell: com. Today’s guest is Aileen Rah Em. She’s a spiritual guide, energy healer, teacher, and writer, and her mission is to establish solid foundations for spiritual growth and soul fulfillment. Welcome, Aileen.[00:00:53] [00:01:38] Aline Ra M: Thank you so much for having me, China. Happy to talk to you today.[00:01:43] Charna Cassell: Yeah, I’ve been looking forward to this conversation. And I feel like it’s a important one regarding people understanding what You know, like, I don’t want to, I don’t want to take anything for granted, right? Like, I may know what a spiritual guide is, but I want people who’ve never heard of that or don’t necessarily comprehend what that could be to get it.[00:02:07] Charna Cassell: And so if we could even just start with that, like a basic description of when you call yourself a spiritual guide, what that means to you, because there’s so many flavors out there.[00:02:20] Aline Ra M: Yes, there’s so many different sides of it. It’s as I see it, the main role of the spiritual guide is to help release people from suffering. Now, when we actually go through what that means, we have so many different angles that we could approach that through. I could also say that my job is to help people stay on their path.[00:02:40] Aline Ra M: Or my job is to inspire and motivate people to keep going because it can be a hard path spiritual growth. I could also say that my job is to give people the right practices, the right things for their challenges. For their blockages, because the spiritual guide can assess people’s energy feud and see exactly what they need.[00:03:02] Aline Ra M: So they don’t do random practices that they just read in a book or saw in a YouTube channel that can actually harm them instead of helping them. So I could say all those things, but the core is really to help release people from suffering.[00:03:15] Aline Ra M: This is what all those things, all these different angles. Are doing and it even brings the question of where does suffering come from and we can talk about ego and delusions and desires that are so tied with spiritual growth, which is what I love, but I understand that for some people that can be so abstract.[00:03:37] Aline Ra M: And so far away.
[00:03:38] Aline Ra M: We can talk about helping people stay in their path because it is so easy to get distracted, to have shiny objects, to be afraid and to get out of our path. If we look around us, most people around us are not living in joy. They’re not living their purpose. It is easier to stay out of our path than to stay in our path.[00:04:01] Aline Ra M: The spiritual guide is a person who will help you to stay in your path.[00:04:06] Charna Cassell: And so somebody could ask, well, what does that mean? How would you even know if you were on your path or off your path? So,[00:04:15] Aline Ra M: We know energetically by feeling and by seeing what is happening in a person’s energy field, if the energy field is aligned, if it’s harmonized, what kind of blockages are presenting themselves there. When we have too many blockages, it’s almost impossible to leave our purpose and we need to clear them in order to simply be able to walk our path. [00:04:39] Charna Cassell: I hear what you’re saying but that it may not be as concrete for people. And so an example of here, you know, could be something like, that you’re really attached to staying with this particular person because you don’t want to get a divorce and the stigma that goes along with divorce.[00:04:55] Charna Cassell: And, but then there’s crisis after crisis. You could even be having physical healing crises when you stay in this particular relationship and that may not be part of what you’re aligned with and be on your path. And so to release that and to step away from a certain thing that you’ve been so attached to could actually mean you’re stepping onto your path.[00:05:18] Charna Cassell: Is that an example?[00:05:19] Aline Ra M: could be one thing. And it’s linked to the idea of suffering or simply struggling. Normally when we struggle, we are not in our path. We are struggling against. Our path, because we are not allowing ourselves to accept something. So every time we’re struggling with life, we are out of alignment. And I like to say the life is challenging. We need challenges to grow. So it’s not like sunflowers and rainbows not supposed to be because growth requires us to get out of our comfort zone, but challenge and struggle is. Very different things. We’re not here to hustle, [00:05:57] Aline Ra M: We’re here to thrive by overcoming our challenges. So we can see the energy of struggling, like struggling with our work, struggling with stress, struggling with frustration. All of those signs is that we are fighting with ourselves, we’re struggling with ourselves.00:06:15] Charna Cassell: Right.[00:06:16] Aline Ra M: Yeah.[00:06:16] Charna Cassell: And can you share some about how you came to this path, like some about, concretely about the challenges that you encountered that you overcame that helped you be clear about your path?[00:06:29] Aline Ra M: So I had two main moments in my life that brought me to this path in very different ways. The first one was when I was just a teenager, I was 12, I started being able to hear voices. I started being able to hear things that were not there. And that just was a natural opening. And it was scary.[00:06:49] Aline Ra M: And at the same time, it took me to have curiosity. So that’s how it started. I had a natural opening that Asked me to be able to protect myself because it was not that easy to manage. And it was a not nice things that was happening. It’s not like I was seeing an angel, quite the opposite. So I was like, okay, I need to be able to take care of myself. And the second side is because I had this opening, I had this awareness that was something more. I knew I was not crazy. And then came the question, what the hell is this place? What the hell is this that I’m going through that nobody can see. And they know it’s very real. And that took me to a path of spirituality based on mysticism and occultism of understanding energy, understanding what kinds of energy were there.[00:07:38] Aline Ra M: And it was purely from this point of view. What are these different layers of existence? What is this place? How do I work with energy? How do I do rituals? How do I protect myself? It had nothing to do with personal development. Absolutely zero. So when I was a teenager, what happened is that I joined my first mystery school.[00:07:58] Aline Ra M: So I joined back then the Rosicrucian order. And a few years later I joined Gnosis. So I’ve been on a path, mystery schools, initiation based for a long time, but I never cared about it in terms of personal development and my joy. I was just fascinated by the magical aspect of it.[00:08:17] Aline Ra M: And it was in my late thirties.[00:08:19] Aline Ra M: That I started having a series of breakdowns of seriously hating my life and that took me first to Buddhism. And that started clicking so many things inside of me. Because in a way I already had all the energy from my previous experiences. I just had never put it in such an angle. So when came like this personal development part that I just needed to fix my life.[00:08:47] Aline Ra M: Then it all clicked together and all made sense.[00:08:50] Charna Cassell: You got to apply all the tools that you had been developing.[00:08:54] Aline Ra M: Yeah,[00:08:55] Charna Cassell: Can I ask, so when you were 12 and you were starting to have these experiences that felt scary and new did you have other adults or resources in your life that you could turn to?[00:09:08] Aline Ra M: not directly not in my own place. My, my parents are both scientists. They don’t believe in anything like that. So they don’t know up until now, they don’t really know what happened. I, it was always so clear in me that I couldn’t tell them that it wouldn’t be safe [00:09:25] Charna Cassell: Yeah. Mm hmm. [00:09:27] Aline Ra M: not saying that my parents are bad people.[00:09:29] Aline Ra M: It’s just, they would do what they could in the best reasoning in their loving way is just that would be mostly taking me to medication, which is not what I needed. And they knew even then, back then, my intuition was always very clear on that. At the same time, I was lucky to born and raised in an island in Brazil, where there are many mystery schools.[00:09:53] Aline Ra M: They are hidden. Most of my friends, if I talk to them even up to today, they don’t know about it, but they exist. And so what happened I knew I was supposed to be in a school. I always knew that. I just didn’t know which one. The one back then that I saw everywhere was like Freemasons.[00:10:11] Aline Ra M: I had so many friends being initiated as Freemasons back then, but then it’s only for boys. And I was like, I know there’s something for me. I know it exists, but I don’t know when. And I was having this conversation with like a group of friends. And one of the girls that I barely knew up to then, she looked at me and said, you know, my mom is seeing one of them.[00:10:30] Aline Ra M: I can just ask her and you can join her. And so that is how it happened.[00:10:35] Charna Cassell: Oh, how amazing.[00:10:36] Aline Ra M: I ended up having that support because when I joined then many things started changing.[00:10:41] Charna Cassell: Yeah, it’s so important that piece of having, you know, first of all, like getting to be seen[00:10:48] Aline Ra M: Yeah.[00:10:49] Charna Cassell: and having that mutual understanding and having somebody guide you and then you’re now serving as that guide for people who may not understand what’s happening for them. also really curious, I see.[00:11:00] Charna Cassell: trauma often as a gateway to spiritual awakening and opening and that people who’ve experienced different kinds of trauma there can be this I see it as you Don’t have the direct resource in your family system to be protected or safe, and that often there, it opens this other realm or access to non consensual reality.[00:11:25] Charna Cassell: And I’m curious if that if you relate to that, and if that is part of your story at all in terms of what you think if you look back and go. What contributed to the development or the capacity that I had to see things that other people couldn’t see. Do you have an understanding of that?[00:11:44] Aline Ra M: Well, at the same time, I think some of us actually came for that and that something had to happen for that to open. I don’t see like necessarily that there was a setting that allowed that opening as much as I was supposed to have that opening. And at the same time, the listening to the voices were extremely traumatic for me, caused me to have a lot of insomnia early in my life, even after that was healed, my nervous system took forever to be able to sleep well.[00:12:13] Aline Ra M: So that was very strong in me. So for a long time, I could curse that. I hated those voices. I hated insomnia. But at the same time, it led me to see there was something there. It did its purpose of taking me to my path. So that is more what I see, that those events, especially early in age, have a role.[00:12:35] Aline Ra M: Of taking us to our path because we can always ignore them and it often happens that children when they’re very young. They have this opening and they shut it down in my case. I was lucky to have that in an age that I couldn’t really shut it down. It’s like you’re already 12 to 3. There’s nothing you can do.[00:12:55] Aline Ra M: You’re going to remember this. [00:12:57] Charna Cassell: Right. Yeah, that kids at certain ages may have experiences that they then just don’t even have recollection of [00:13:05] Charna Cassell: that opening. [00:13:06] Aline Ra M: At the same time, it’s like it’s a realm that we don’t fully understand even if we studied so much, even if we’re fully in it, it is full of mysteries. And then for me, I don’t even understand up to now if there was something palpable and concrete that triggered that event, or was that event supposed to happen to be able to open me to my path?[00:13:30] Aline Ra M: I don’t [00:13:31] Aline Ra M: know. I don’t know. Like it’s chicken and eggs. I really don’t know.
[00:13:34] Charna Cassell: Yeah. Yeah. That’s what I was asking. It’s just the sense of like, there are things that make the veil thinner for some people. And often I see that trauma is that. And that what I’m hearing from you is that the actual opening was traumatic and it was hard to integrate and you, your nervous system had to recover from not understanding and being so afraid.[00:13:54] Charna Cassell: And lack of sleep alone is a huge upheaval in people’s lives. And you know, can be so dysregulating, but that there, it wasn’t something specific. There was no precipitating event that, that, you know, led up to this moment.[00:14:11] Aline Ra M: And it is true that some people can go through some trauma that cause openings, like for instance astral traveling that many people report having near death experiences. But sometimes we also have to understand this certain spiritual events when caused by accidents. actually are accidents. They don’t necessarily happen in a good way, that keeps the integrity of the etheric body.[00:14:39] Aline Ra M: Sometimes having those random openings that were caused by accidents and are forceful actually creates trauma in the energetic field as well, and that person will need energy healing. Because that was not the natural connection. That was not a sustainable path. It was a blitz in the matrix, so to say.[00:15:03] Aline Ra M: And that creates fractures that need to be repaired.[00:15:07] Charna Cassell: And is that something that you help people with?[00:15:10] Aline Ra M: Yes, as well, yeah.[00:15:11] Aline Ra M: So it’s very different as well. If we talk about activations and Kundalini activations and things like that, it’s very different. A person who has been on the path of yoga and purification and releasing formigo and creating a container that is sustainable, that can sustain the energy. Who has a strong nervous system to deal with that with somebody who has like one specific event that has an activation, you know, goes to one specific ritual, it can break them apart, it can be too much for them because they don’t have what it takes to sustain that.[00:15:45] Aline Ra M: So I’m more as a spiritual guide, I prefer working with things that are self sustained than direct connections. Which requires us to prepare ourselves to hold that. So it can be a lot of work, but it’s a work that we can sustain throughout our lives.[00:16:03] Charna Cassell: Right. Right. What that brings up for me is thinking about the difference between. Slow regular practice and listening to your own pace, because even Kundalini awakenings can just shatter people. I mean, it’s very disruptive if your system can’t hold the amount of energy that you’ve suddenly conjured.[00:16:21] Charna Cassell: And then it has me think about you know, medicine work is so popular now. Right. It’s at least in the Bay Area. It’s everywhere. And That there are these very intense experiences that, you know, some people in order to create a crack in the ego, they may need a more intense experience, but to assume that everyone needs the same thing.[00:16:43] Charna Cassell: And then what’s the integration process afterwards? And also like the sustained change, right? You’re talking about sustainable change.
[00:16:53] Aline Ra M: Yes, a sustainable change that we can hold ourselves because we are divine. We don’t need intermediaries. We can have people’s help to show certain keys to activate things in us, but we need to be able to hold that we are the container. We are the vessel. So in my way of seeing it, it’s not exactly spiritual growth if we are having like just outsourcing the channel, you know, we are the channel.[00:17:21] Aline Ra M: And I understand as well that many spiritual. Experiences that are extremely powerful in extremely high vibration are not necessarily a drama in terms of excessive energy. And some people are so desensitized that they need an experience that throws them off.[00:17:43] Charna Cassell: right.[00:17:44] Aline Ra M: You know, I mean, the more sensitive you are, like spirit is everywhere, energy is moving all the time. I don’t know how it is for you, but like, get me to sleep in bed, and I’m going to have all kinds of energy flowing with me, like, in one second, I don’t need to do anything. And I’m not saying this to brag, I’m just saying, this is what happens when we are channels, we all can do that, but we need to cultivate that, we need to clear ourselves for that.[00:18:08] Aline Ra M: And looking for shortcuts, of course, if you have never had any contact with this spirituality before, it could be good just to show you it exists, you know? Just to motivate you, inspire you to walk on the path. But that in itself is not a self sustainable path. It is not the connection creating your channel.[00:18:31] Aline Ra M: It is quite the opposite. It can actually burn your channel, making it even harder to create a self sustained connection, because it’s a crazy amount of fire inside of a person who cannot sustain that. So it can actually burn your fuses, making it much harder to create a self sustained connection with the divine.[00:18:53] Charna Cassell: Yeah, and I think one of the things that you said that’s really important is the desensitization that can happen in so many circumstances, right? So whether it’s that you live in a culture where there’s sugar in everything you eat, and then your, taste buds get desensitized to sweetness, or, you know, I worked at a a co op, a worker owned sex toy store and we did a lot of sex education and there’d be porn playing in the back room while we’re eating sandwiches at lunch.[00:19:22] Charna Cassell: And so it’s like these things that you just like, you just get really desensitized to talking about certain things or seeing certain things or and then in terms of, you know, drugs. Or, you know, other sources taking something in, like what you’re referring to is, you know, you can nature in itself, you don’t need to even be on something, but like nature in itself can be the magic can be.[00:19:45] Charna Cassell: There, you can see the energy and have a spiritual experience using your own body, like cleaning your system out very, you know, historically speaking, like fasting and depriving yourself of like, you know, media so that you’re just creating an open space for what is to actually speak to you and communicate with you rather than filling your mind and filling your belly and filling everything so that spirit can’t get in [00:20:14] Aline Ra M: Absolutely. You’re absolutely right. I mean, we’re in a society that is so addicted to busyness, to doing things. And then when people want to connect with the divine, they just add stuff to their list. Go to the ceremony, do this, do that. But in reality, we are all naturally connected. It is more about stop doing the things that are disconnecting us.[00:20:36] Aline Ra M: So it is more about letting go. Letting go of the news. Letting go of foods. Like foods drastically disconnect us if we don’t eat well. So just eating well makes a huge difference in this work. Because your vessel is going to be clean for the connection. So treating our bodies as our temples, doing less, paying more attention, listening more.[00:21:02] Aline Ra M: Everything is relationships. The spirit is constantly communicating with us and so are the elements. So our ability to listen is crucial, but we cannot listen if we’re always busy, doesn’t work.[00:21:16] Charna Cassell: And the people that find you, do you feel like the people that end up finding you, they’re already on a path or they’re at the beginning? Like who are the people that you tend to work with most?[00:21:27] Aline Ra M: I work with different types of people. Some people were really on the path. They just never had like a guide with somebody giving the practices, but they being very serious about their practices in their own way. But I also work a lot with people. They’re just beginning in their path. And I do have clients.[00:21:43] Aline Ra M: For instance, I have exactly the setting that we were just talking about that. Try it out a few different, went to ayahuasca or mushroom ceremonies a few times and got curious and think that they already know quite a bit So I have one program focusing on people who haven’t had a consistent spiritual practice yet For they to create the first blocks of foundations for their practice.[00:22:09] Charna Cassell: And you’re tuning in and specifically creating practices for their system and them because, you know, one person needs to learn how to root down and connect into the earth. Another person needs to learn how to connect up and so on. [00:22:24] Aline Ra M: In one of the programs. Yes. One of my programs would do exactly that in my other program for people who are just beginning. I have a more standard practices that I give all of them. So they understand how certain energetic mechanisms work. and have a toolbox to help them. So when they are panicking, they know what to do, when they need to relax, they know what to do, they understand what purification is, and they can see the ego, which is the most important part for me, to make sure that people who are just beginning can understand what the hell ego even means in practice, because they can see How they are fighting with themselves all the time.[00:23:05] Aline Ra M: And I know that for some people that doesn’t sound interesting at all when they say, but and that’s not how I market the program as well. It is about connection, likeness, and clarity a hundred percent. But it has an effect as well of allowing the person to understand what is out of place. naturally by doing the practices.[00:23:25] Aline Ra M: And from that moment onwards, when they can see what the ego is, then we can do the real stuff.[00:23:32] Charna Cassell: Can you give an example of some of the things that are in your program that help guide someone to be able to be separate enough to be able to see ego and conceive of that?[00:23:46] Aline Ra M: This program is about setting solid foundations for spiritual development and bringing your likeness connection and clarity because this, it absolutely does. So you will be feeling lighter, more connected and clear. So in a way you will get clarity of like, normally people start because they want to have more clarity of what they want, their purpose, their direction, and they will definitely get that.[00:24:16] Aline Ra M: It gets those tangible aspects that people are looking for. It is just that the way it does it, it’s just by showing what is not okay. And so, for instance, many people on this program actually start realizing how much control issues they have. We all think we understand our control issues, but they are so much, like, like, bigger than we think.[00:24:38] Aline Ra M: They hide in so many small things all the time, and control is based on fear. The moment that we can see how we are so scared, everything changes because we just want to get rid of that fear. We don’t want to keep going with that fear, but it’s something that I can talk to people about it. but It doesn’t sound as strong as when you actually feel it, the program allows people to feel it.[00:25:01] Aline Ra M: And that’s when the key turns of what the, like, we always talk about authenticity, like to live our lives fully to be our authentic selves. We all want that. But not necessarily understand what it means there are certain things that we have to be put on the spot ourselves to see how we actually don’t feel safe being ourselves. [00:25:24] Charna Cassell: I mean, I feel like what a spiritual journey is about full self acceptance. know, to be able to move through all the, I’m too much, I’m not enough, I’m not worthy, et cetera and all the ways those stories play out in your family or response to culture or response to religion [00:25:43] Aline Ra M: yeah. That’s a beautiful place to begin if we can. Accept ourselves and acknowledge what we want that we have a beautiful path ahead of us to walk without shame with self love because at the end of the day, self love is the core of every type of growth, be it spiritual growth, be it personal development, be it empowerment.[00:26:08] Aline Ra M: It comes from this place of loving ourselves so much that how could we possibly shut ourselves down. [00:26:13] Charna Cassell: Right, right. And so much of the shutting down and that’s what a lot of my work is about with people is is helping them not shut those places down, not kink the hoses to allow everything to flow through them. But yes, people do shut those things down in order to be acceptable, in order to be palatable, in order to be safe, you know, in, in the process of trying to get love, right?[00:26:36] Charna Cassell: And not get kicked out of the herd.[00:26:39] Aline Ra M: Yeah. And if we can realize that, then it’s great. If we can see that’s what we’re doing, that’s a huge step.[00:26:46] Charna Cassell: And you pointed to this, which is, you know, we can talk about it but to be in the practice is a different thing because until you have that visceral experience, it’s really hard to trust or believe. And then once you have those visceral experiences, which come from practice, then it’s replicable, right?[00:27:07] Charna Cassell: And then it becomes self sustaining versus like some one off mystical. experience or something you’ve read and you conceptually agree with but don’t know how to actually apply.[00:27:20] Aline Ra M: Yeah. Absolutely. Spirituality is so much about liberation as Liberating ourselves from ourselves so that we can be releasing from anything that is not allowing us to accept, to embrace who we are.[00:27:34] Charna Cassell: Right. Right. That’s , also another big piece of the work that I do with people it’s a microcosm. I always, people come to me to work around sexuality a lot, but Your sexual self expression is a microcosm for other parts of your life. And so if you’re shutting a certain thing down, how can it not impact your sexual self expression?[00:27:52] Charna Cassell: And so like, what do you see with people around when they’ve liberated certain things in your program? gIven that sexual trauma is actually so frequent and it’s so common, what have you seen with people you’ve worked with around that?[00:28:09] Aline Ra M: About sexual trauma or[00:28:10] Charna Cassell: Around liberation from, right? In the process Of healing spiritually, how that then can impact your sexual self expression and freedom in that area.[00:28:23] Aline Ra M: I Mean, sexual energy is. completely necessary for any kind of energy work, but sometimes we just don’t realize that. What I see most with my clients is to switch to calmness, to acceptance in terms of patience.[00:28:37] Aline Ra M: That it’s okay. Everything is okay. And focus on what I would like, not focus on what is not okay, on, on the worries and on the problems and on repeating the same self talk that is based on hate and judgment. It’s fine. I see things for what they are.[00:28:58] Aline Ra M: There is no drama,[00:29:00] Aline Ra M: We live in a society that is always Like the emotional reaction like it’s endless reactive emotionally, you know, and people think that this is like being alive and normal. They sometimes people think that people that are a bit impartial and like are kind of distanced and cold. But for me, that is like the purest expression of love. Love that is consciousness. Love that has a big picture and sees the whole thing,[00:29:29] Aline Ra M: Reacting to a small event all the time. [00:29:33] Aline Ra M: Well, it’s coming to this place of awareness.[00:29:36] Charna Cassell: And having more neutrality or equanimity and not personalizing things so much, right? Like that[00:29:45] Charna Cassell: piece. [00:29:46] Aline Ra M: And I’m not overreacting on things. Not as like, this happens, this is good. That happens. This is bad. You know, it’s it is what it is.[00:29:55] Aline Ra M: Then if I can see reality for what it is without judgments, then I can decide how to act on it, to go towards the direction that I want it to go. Not in a manipulative way, but in a neutral way, because we all have powers over all the energies that are around us.[00:30:13] Aline Ra M: And so it’s just understanding our powers and the comparison of our powers with the powers of the universe. We are God. And so we can start acting as such instead of victimizing ourselves or losing our temper or any of other things that happens so easily.[00:30:31] Charna Cassell: When you’re working with someone who’s had a lot of trauma, do you, do, first of all, I guess that’s the first question, do those clients come to you? And if so Shifting out of a victim’s story into being able to, you know, unwind that and see that as an archetype that they’re learning from is its own process.[00:30:56] Charna Cassell: And so I’m curious about your approach[00:30:58] Charna Cassell: there. [00:31:00] Aline Ra M: So, I mean, we all have trauma, not big traumas, of course, they’re big traumas, there’s no traumas, but we all have traumas. I Wouldn’t say that people necessarily come to me for trauma. I’m not like a trauma specialist. That is not what I focus on, but at the same time, what is blocking us?[00:31:18] Aline Ra M: from connection is trauma. So we are always, that is what we’re purifying at the end of the day. The way that I work with people, it’s not like I’m not a therapist, I’m not a psychologist, so I’m not going to talk to people about their trauma. Of course they’re open to share. I’ll be more scanning their energy to understand where it is for what it needs, what is influencing, what kind of practice he needs.[00:31:42] Aline Ra M: My work is. A lot based on practices. I give the people the practices that they need to do to shift the energy so I don’t go through the mind. The mind is not my path. I explain things. I talk to people about things so they understand how energy works because I don’t also don’t want them just to do the practice but not understand what is it that we’re doing.[00:32:04] Aline Ra M: It’s important for me that they have like an understanding even to have a good understanding because there’s so much naivety about how energy works. So to help them create that awareness of what this planet really is. But that’s sad. I don’t stay on the mental level. I don’t try to fix trauma.[00:32:24] Aline Ra M: talking. And most of my clients are actually online. I have some clients in person, some online, a healing sessions online and in person. So even with my online clients, I won’t be just talking. I will be transferring energy. I will be explaining to them their practices. And of course we will talk, but not as a therapist, not to try to solve the problem, just to understand energetically.[00:32:54] Aline Ra M: What is happening?[00:32:58] Charna Cassell: And is there a particular practice that you’d like to lead our listeners through?[00:33:06] Aline Ra M: Oh, I didn’t think about that. I love, there’s a very simple practice that I love and for some people they will say this is not spirituality, but it is in so many different levels, which is [00:33:19] Charna Cassell: Right. [00:33:20] Aline Ra M: So if you close your eyes and just put yourself very lightly with your fingertips around your body.[00:33:27] Aline Ra M: When I’m saying this, that this has so many different benefits. It’s. Suffering to your nervous system, which is so necessary for spiritual growth. The more we grow on this path, the more energy starts going through us. And we need to be able to handle that energy. So, self touch, very light touch with your fingertips. Going through any part of your body. You can go through your face, chest, your legs. Handling with you as you’re listening to my voice. xploring your body for any sensation. Calming yourself. This is beautiful to do in bed. If you’re having trouble falling asleep, just calming. A good five minutes of this at night before you go to bed is and it can also be used in the morning as you come out of bed for self connection, for greeting yourself before beginning the day, coming to yourself. One other reason that I love this practice is that touch is the sense of the heart. Each chakra is connected to a sense. And by stimulating your skin, you also get to clear your heart and bring more lightness into your heart. So for me, this is a practice. Yeah, it works with the heart. It works with the nervous system.[00:35:11] Aline Ra M: It is soothing. It will allow more energy to flow through you because it is soothing to the nervous system. So it has so many benefits. The spiritual practices can be a seat for one hour. Doing a specific thing in meditation, but they can also be light and playful and joyful and exploratory.[00:35:32] Charna Cassell: That’s super important, Swede, and I know you have a book, Bullshit Free Mindfulness, and that you have a bunch of different kinds of practices in there that can be done rather quickly, and that it doesn’t have to be that people go, Oh, in order to meditate, I have to put off, like, Oh, I have to be available for an hour, or, Oh, I have to have the right cushion, or all those excuses that we can make.[00:35:59] Aline Ra M: No, I mean, we are here to live. You’re right. We’re here to live. We’re here to enjoy. And life presents so many opportunities for us to do just that. It’s just that we’re so busy, so caught up somewhere else that we lose these opportunities.[00:36:16] Charna Cassell: Yeah.[00:36:16] Aline Ra M: So for me, a big part is to come back to the small pleasures of life, to appreciating the food we’re eating, our teacup, listening to our favorite song fully and singing along instead of just being a background, [00:36:32] Charna Cassell: hmm. Mm hmm. [00:36:32] Aline Ra M: like paying attention to those things, how we are actually a part of it.[00:36:37] Aline Ra M: Living our lives, the how is as important as the what.[00:36:41] Charna Cassell: Right. It’s one of the things about that practice that I appreciate is that as a child, and I think a lot of people could probably relate to this, you know, there’s a certain age, especially for girls, where we would do that, we would tickle each other’s arms, you know, and even this week in a session, I had a client who was having a lot of anxiety and she was just not conscious that she was doing it, but she was, I brought it to her attention that she was tickling and stroking and it was like, she just knew there’s an innate wisdom in her as there are.[00:37:13] Charna Cassell: Bye. Bye. There isn’t everyone that we know ways to soothe ourselves. We know ways to ground or open our own hearts. And we just may not even realize what we’re engaging in that process. So,[00:37:27] Aline Ra M: Exactly. If we just stop to listen to ourselves and observe what is happening, we’re gonna find great treasures there for sure. [00:37:34] Charna Cassell: Anything else? I know that you also have an eight week program for spiritual development. Is there anything else that you want to share and how people can reach you?[00:37:44] Aline Ra M: I mean, I have quite a few different types of programs, depending on where people are on their path. Regardless, the best way to work with me is to book a breakthrough call. So this is a first call without commitment where I assess your field and give you direction. Even if you’re not working with me after, you still get direction.[00:38:05] Aline Ra M: And if you consider working with me, I’ll see exactly where you fit in the things that I offer. Okay. I give healing sessions. I have online courses, so my website is a full plate, like a full buffet there. So if you go to Elin sorry, elin do com, I think you have it on the show notes as well. So it’s I don’t need to spell here.[00:38:25] Aline Ra M: I have a guide, a free guide called What is Spiritual Growth. which I think it’s a great beginning on this path. It is extremely practical and hands on in its example. So if you go to elindram. com spiritual growth, you can find that. [00:38:43] Aline Ra M: You will also find on my website, a free masterclass to how to connect with the divine. So these are a few of the offers that I have to support you on your path.[00:38:54] Charna Cassell: Beautiful.[00:38:54] Aline Ra M: yeah, the best place to find me is on my website and on YouTube is Alinram as well. All mysteries there.[00:39:02] Aline Ra M: Thank you so much for having me today, Sharon It was fun talking to you.[00:39:05] Charna Cassell: well thank you again. It was good to meet you.

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© 2022 By Charna Cassell, LMFT. Licensed Marriage and Family Therapist. MFC 51238.

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