It took me five years and eight brochures to meet Reiki. Like that guy your friends want to set you up with, I was reluctant, but intrigued. My afternoon walks would take me past a tiny healing clinic nestled along an alleyway, you’d miss it if it weren’t for the Tibetan prayer flags fluttering in the breeze. Each time I passed I’d look for the prayer flags waving me in and would occasionally pluck a brochure from their small outside altar.
After a long period of healing a back injury, finding yoga, opening in meditation and becoming increasingly intuitive, a friend gave me a book about Reiki. Thankfully it explained much of what I was experiencing.The visions and journeys in my meditations, the buzzing in my hands, the incessant need to move towards a profession doing some kind of healing work. I’d become so empathic that my hands were like divining rods sensing trouble in passersby and longing to reach out and touch random people on the street. This was new and a bit unsettling. I tried channeling this urge into designing healing gardens, but during the dot-com bomb of 2001, it wasn’t proving lucrative. So I finally made the call to Donna Gaus, the Reiki Master who owned and ran The Reiki Clinic of Menlo Park. A month later I was signed up to take my Level I Reiki Attunement class and its been enchantment ever since!
When I moved out to California in 1997 I took a gigantic leap of faith and never looked back. It was a move, as with many events in my life, that was done with an intuitive hit which told me, “yep, this is the way!” My path as a energy intuitive and healer was obviously an unconventional one which has gained much criticism over the years from family, even friends who didn’t understand why I was doing this. I’ve spent many years hiding or downplaying it because people at parties or family or even new clients may not understand the ‘medicine’ I practice. Honestly, embarking on a career because your hands told you to do it is a little weird even for me! But I continue to be guided and in the past years have been dropping even deeper into valuable intuitive information which informs my work with clients.
I’m often asked how I got into this work. I’m honest when I say I never thought I’d be doing this for a living. It wasn’t an interest, nor a passion it was a bonafide calling! I wanted to be a designer of some sort. I think that in a parallel universe I’m a Manhattan art consultant, placing Noguchi sculptures in someone’s summer garden in the Hamptons. To be honest, I’m periodically drawn in that direction to explore a new career….but like those fluttering prayer flags, something keeps waving me along the path of doing this healing work. Primarily because I understand it so intimately, like a close friend. Connecting with someone’s healing process and their needs so intuitively, working in ethereal space with guides, the epiphanies we reach together and the constant shift I’m able to witness..often beyond what they experience with western medicine has taken precedent each time I feel that longing for ‘another life’.
A passage from a book I’m writing was written with this intuitive connection:
True healing is about rebuilding relationship to the source within us so that we are better able to listen to the subtleties of our body and what it needs for its own harmony.
This amalgam of healing and wholing practices has become our new medicine. So much in fact that allopathic medicine is adopting many of these practices resulting in the term Integrative or Complimentary Medicine. It is this practice of honoring and quietly listening the intricate complexities of our physical and subtle bodies that we may continue to evolve as the medicine keepers of our time.
The Sanitation Worker:
How do we decipher between an interest, a passion or a calling? So many of you come to explore what your purpose is in life. Our purpose is to fully experience our potential..pretty simple right? Mmmm…not so much. We’re FULL of potential and interests and passions, but what is our calling? The number one mistake we make is that we think our work must be our calling. That is the ideal, but what about all the jobs out there that are necessary to our society? A perfect example: Sanitation worker. Now no offense, but I highly doubt that someone wakes up and says to themselves, “Eureka, I’ve found my calling! I’ll pick up other people’s garbage!” However, that same person may choose this work because it pays well, perhaps they get off work earlier in the day, leaving them more time to coach little league, be a better parent or play their favorite instrument in a band.
So how do we reach our potential and live a full life?
What’s weighing you down? The first thing I hear in my work with people are the obstacles, the ‘I can’ts’, the ‘I’m too tired’, the ‘there’s not enough time’, etc. We all have the same amount of hours in a day with different obligations. Yet, it’s not really the obligations weighing us down, but the attitude around them. The continuous diet of frustrations, anger, sadness, longing keep us from gratitude and seeing life from a higher vantage.
Name what is weighing you down and make the decision to clear it.
What are your strengths?
Long before I entered into this work, I had an objectivity. I was the diplomat in my family and friends. People always commented on how calm I was and inevitably would follow with them telling me their problems…not so much because I knew how to fix them, but because they knew I could listen with an objective ear.
List your strengths and see if they align with what you’re doing right now. Are you fully utilizing them?
What are your interests?
Here’s where we get blurred. We confuse interests with passions or strengths and then think it must be our calling. I have an interest in horsebackriding, kayaking, cheesemaking. But I wouldn’t ache if I didn’t have these in my life.
What are your passions?
Here’s where it gets juicy! What do you love? What would you ache for if it wasn’t in your life? What do you need like air? Hopefully you find a nice list of these. If not then something is weighing you down and needs to be cleared.
What is your calling?
Again, it does not have to be what you do for work. Look how many incredible people volunteer their time and energy towards something they feel called to do. Incidentally before I stepped into this as a profession I was volunteering in healing capacities. I volunteered as a court advocate for domestic violence victims..again being that healing presence! I volunteered in various animal rescue organizations, cats, birds of prey, marine mammals.
Don’t worry if the calling isn’t immediately apparent. I usually comes after exploring your strengths, interests & passions first..again living to your potential, explore and play!
Doubting the call:
In over ten years of doing this work…really more, I continue to question it. Not my abilities, not my commitment, but I wonder what life would be like in other realms. It’s a reminder for me to live in my potential and fully experience life around me rather than being tunnel-visioned. I ask for guidance as I fully take my seat in this work, this humbling, necessary service, this powerfully transformative medicine! In order to do so, I’ve had to take a good, long look at the gifts which have always been available to me and how to fully utilize them….how to own it! A self-recognition was needed, an acknowledgement of the woman, the person, the deeply intuitive, new-fangled, modern-day urban medicine woman that I am. As I do, the same message comes in, “yep this is the way!”