Lester Levenson, who inspired The Sedona Method and The Release Technique, achieved what some would call enlightenment. (Although I'm sure that Lester would have never used that word - not from a sense of false humility, but because Lester would have never identified himself as anything).
In 1952, Lester was a very successful physicist and entrepeneur, but was a very sick man. His doctors told him that his heart was shot and there was nothing they could do. They sent him home with a bottle of morphine and warned him that any kind of overexertion might kill him. Terrified, he sat at home in his Manhatten apartment, afraid to move. He looked at his bottle of morphine and thought, "Well, I'm either going to figure this thing out or take that bottle of pills." Highly motivated and with suicide as his backup plan, he began a self-inquiry which lasted several months.
This facing-death-head-on inquiry eventually led to an awareness that he himself was awareness and that the nature of this awareness was love. And that this Is-ness, this love, could and would transform any energy (thought, emotion, or belief) not vibrationally like itself.
In the decades that followed, Lester shared his insights and discoveries with others who further developed them into practical tools that we use today.
Basic Sedona Method questions like: Could you allow that feeling to be here, just for now? And, Could you allow yourself to simply acknowledge that feeling? Do you notice any push or brace against that feeling? are purposefully phrased as gentle invitations versus direct-line, fix-it-now-stupid commands.
It is this space-making allowing that is the nature of awareness. Fixing is a symptom of the intellect, the egoic will. The egoic will can't transform negative energy. Only pure awareness can do that. So when you ask yourself these questions in this way, you are activating open awareness. You are activating your essential nature.
Lester knew, like all great teachers, that it's our resistance to what is, that keeps us stuck. It's our resistance to our negative feelings, that keeps them from doing what they are meant to do - release.
Resistance is so subtle. Some researchers say that by the time we were six years old, we had learned how to resist (suppress, push down on, compartmentalize) our feelings. This reaction to our feelings is so automatic and so practiced that it's mostly unconscious. It feels normal. It's why we say that we are fine or OK and accept the background tension in our neck and shoulders as just the way I am.
But it's resistance - resistance to something about yourself or your life situation, resistance to the behaviors of others, resistance to the state of the world. We resist the state of our bodies or our bank accounts. We even resist the weather. But mostly, we resist the feelings that are just below the surface of our awareness, which manifests as what we call stress.
Take a moment to settle and check inside. When you feel inside yourself, paying close attention to your chest, stomach, throat, jaw, and your shoulders or the back of your neck, would you say that you feel completely open, peaceful, grounded, and free, or something less than that?
The less-than-that that you're feeling is resistance. The good news is this: resistance is an energy. It's a feeling like any other. And when you can bring pure, non-judging awareness to the resistance, it will release. And when you learn how to release resistance to what is, you are free.
By the way, Lester Levenson lived another 42 years after he was sent home to die. His radical self-inquiry and his release of all negative feelings that were not love, healed his heart and other health problems. When he died in 1994 from cancer, it is said that he died free of pain. Free of resistance.