Life In My Hands: Healing Myself, Healing Others

When I moved across the world to the Middle East after my second marriage ended, I didn’t know where that journey would take me, not only physically but emotionally. I was trying to trade my old life for an improved and more interesting reality, hoping to escape the emotional pains of my past. But I was also searching for an improved version of myself, a new me ready to embrace a more purposeful, exciting, and satisfying existence, where I could look ahead and leave behind the mistakes from my past.

Life can be challenging and sometimes messy, and healing my life, as I discovered, would take years. The turning point came when I was led to an energy healer, after a combination of emotional and physical health issues that stacked up so high they fell over, literally.

I was living in The Hague, in The Netherlands, working as U.S. staff member at NATO. One night teetering on fashionable but too-high heels, I took a terrible fall down a set of ladder –like treacherous Dutch stairs. I was already living with deep emotional pain. Now, I added severe and chronic physical pain that preventing my from standing up straight, do to a massive back pain, as well as a frozen shoulder. That chronic pain took over and quickly consumed my life. Being in constant physical pain for almost eight months seemed like an indictment that would never end. My search within the system for medical care (I would have settled for a proper diagnosis) proved fruitless. Culturally the medical system there seemed like one not just from another country, but also perhaps from another planet. The medical providers wouldn’t give me an MRI, they just kept telling me to exercise and stretch more. Or maybe, they suggested, it was just something made up in my head. None of these answers were helping to resolve the issue, or giving me relief from the pain. I was growing more and more desperate for a resolution.

Not to be deterred, Ikept seekingout different medical specialists in Holland and Belgium, with no success,answers, or relief. Finally a dear friend of mine from France scooped me up and we drovean excruciating two and half hours to the American Hospital in Paris. He was convinced he could help me get a proper diagnosis at that hospital. The doctors in Paris did indeed discover the issue as promised, and in less than four hours there was a complete diagnosis: two badly herniated discs and a twisted pelvis causing pain in my hip. I was told that the pain would be something I would have to endure for the rest of my life. The chief of surgery suggested that surgery could be an option, but admitted it might not resolve the pain. He recommended a cortisone shot in my spine, followed by physical therapy. There was some satisfaction to finally have a diagnosis, but I still saw many months and years of living with unbearable pain stretching out before me.

The doctors also recommended that I consider alternative methods to help manage the pain long term. “Sometimes miracles do happen with the body that we can’t always explain, so see what you can find,” the doctor told me. Because living with emotional and physical pain for the rest of my life was not an option, the answer had to be in alternative approaches to healing.

Therewere articles all over the Internet on all types of alternative healing methods including chiropractic, acupuncture, and energy healing. I tried them all multiple times and with multiple practitioners. Nothing seemed to work and it looked like a dead end. Then I came across a series of YouTube videos from a CBS news station in California about how hospitals, specifically Kaiser Permanente Hospital in Harbor City, California, were using energy healing alongside regular medicine. The hospital was seeing incredible results with patients who didn’t have success with traditional medicine. For thousands of years eastern medicine has successfully harnessed the use of prana, chi, ki, or simply “energy” for its culture’s mainstream healing. Western medicine is just now beginning to recognize that energy can easily be applied in such a way that the body can begin to heal itself. Curiously enough, these age old methods are being called “new age”.

Medical Doctor Eric Robins at Kaiser Permanente, a urologist who is very open to discussing his use of energy healing with his patients, says, “Many of the other doctors thought it was hokie and weird, but they started to see patients getting better, and soon they began sending their difficult patients to me to try energy healing and the patients were miraculously getting well.” In mid 2000, one hundred and thirty medical professionals from Kaiser Permanente Hospital, including nurses and doctors, were taught energy healing. It made perfect sense to me that an insurance company would invest in this training for healthcare providers. At the end of the day, what matters is that people get well. Whether it’s a pill or energy healing does it really matter to the insurance company how people heal as long as they get better? When people can chosehow they heal, versus being put into a box and told how they will heal, they become the biggest stakeholders in their own health. They take a much bigger responsibility for becoming well, which is what is required in order to heal in the first place; people taking responsibility for their own health. People need to be empowered to take up the reins for their own wellness and by doing so, they become active participants on their journey to good health. They don’t rely on a doctor for healing, because only the body can heal itself. Patients are getting well at Kaiser Permanente Hospital, and don’t keep coming back to the doctors. Good for them! It also means that it saves insurance companies from processing endless amounts of medical claims and, let’s face it, money talks in this age of healthcare.

After seeing these news segments, I remembered my own earlier encounters and curiosity with energy healing, and knew these methods could be powerful. Searching for local energy healers close to where I was living in Europe, I found a couple of short documentaries about Bioenergy Therapy methods. While impressive, there was some initial skepticism on my part because it seemed almost too easy, too good to be true. The application, with the funny hand movements and the way people were moving around on their own without being touched by the practitioner, looked strange. I was desperate though, so I made every effort to get to London and meet up with the teacher not only for a one-on-one healing session with him, but also to take the class myself. My initial thought was that if this method lived up to its claims, I needed to learn how to do it myself so that I could help others.Later I would uncover an even bigger personal missionthat would involve elements of this work as the foundation.

I’ve always beenintriguedby alternative healing methods, searching most of my life for emotional healing or even just some kind of “happyish” balance which, unfortunately, seemed to constantly bypass me. The illusive happinessseemed likea collateral result of the hard and sometimes bold decisions that I had to make in order to get through life. Although I’ve made many difficult, and some would even say, bad choices along the way, there has been healing on this journey. These choices that led me to the good, the bad, and everything in between, all needed to happen in order for me to be who I am today. I now understand that my life wasn’t a series of bad choices or mistakes, it was just simply my life and there were many things to be grateful for. Having searched for a way to address the unresolved pain every step of the way, it felt like finding energy healing saved my life, because it allowed me to have something to give back to others in need. It was also a course correction in my understanding the keys to my life and got me on the road to healing physically and emotionally. By systematically unwinding the years of pent up trauma, many of my negative emotions could be processed and released. Had the fall down those stairs never happened, I wonder if the journey would have still led me here, and often wonder where would I be today? Hindsight tells the truth, and today my life feels the way it should have always been.

In the last four years I have worked with hundreds of clients (mostly women) to overcome and their own healing challenges, empower and transform their lives. As I do that with others, I also continue to heal and grow by helping others to discover and learn to tap into their own healing potential; it truly is a remarkable journey.My personal discoveries through healing others suggest that everything always boils down to a basic idea: more gratitude, love and acceptance of self and each other is what is needed. In situations where we either struggle with enough love for ourselves or for each other, the external emotional entanglements of life remind us to look back to ourselves and not to forget that we are the hero in our own life’s story.

Helping others heal has healed me; helping others with their heart guided me on how to face and resolve the pain in my own heart. It’s been a humbling experience being given the opportunity to witness remarkable transformations in others. I realized how my big brontosaurus-sized ego claimed so much responsibility for things that really had nothing to do with me. In my heart I know that the healing I’m facilitating is far from my doing. The fact that it’s all happening through me, has been the most transformational thing I've ever personally observed, and has profoundly changed the way I view illness and wellness.I spend healing session after healing session observing minor and major miracles unfold before me. What it really feels like, is that I am witnessing a higher order of work every time I touch someone, and how could anyone claim credit for that, especially me. Who am I anyway?

Before all the healing, the worldly travels, and rich cultural exposures, this journeybegan with what seems like a lifetime ago. At seventeen years old, I was pregnant, dropping out of high school, and getting married, only to divorce a few years later. Shortly after, a difficult choice was made to leave my small town, leave my daughter with her father, and join the military. After struggling financially with very few options in sight to make a better life for my daughter and myself, I knew the only way to get to a betterplace was to make a big move. While in the Army, I met another soldier and married again; the dysfunction of that relationship soon imploded the union, which ended in a terrible divorce.

After the second divorce, I was determined to find my way by seeking opportunities to travel and work abroad. As the synchronicity of life would have it, I ended up in the Middle East working for the U.S. Army while living in a city in Kuwait, and then later near the U.S. Embassy in Baghdad, Iraq. It was in the Middle East that I met a great love. He died in a motorcycle accident weeks before we had planned to see each other again. I had moved back to the states months before to establish a new life and a home, and was shocked by the suddenness of his passing. I was overtaken by grief for a period of time, and all these emotionally traumatic events continued to pile up and never really were fully resolved. Closure was missed, not only with the sudden passing of my love, but in a lot of places in my life and it began to weigh me down emotionally. I lived with depression and emotional pain for years. I kept searching for answers, wanting to be better, and never understood why happiness couldn’t be found in my life. I kept climbing the professional ladder and achieving more and more, only to be faced with even more disappointment. My achievements never seemed to sooth the emotional void and pain living inside of me.

Before my healing work with others, my life often felt like a blindfolded game of bumper cars, as if I was just along for the ride getting hit from all directions, without a charted course, or any say in the matter. I was constantly blindsided by physical and emotional health issues, felt out of control and full of anxiety. In time, I matured, healed, and maybe even became enlightened a little along the way. The search for my own personal evolution charted a new course, and what an excellent odyssey has been.

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