It’s been a while since I’ve had a 4am nudge to get up and write by candlelight (4.32 actually, for those of you into numbers) but I know these things come in cycles so I’ll take it gratefully while I can, and haul myself out of bed in the darkness to catch that wave.
As I was coming to this morning it occurred to me why my first book took so many years to be birthed, and how representative the process was of my own journey.
‘The book’ started life because I wanted to learn about the world’s ‘greatest healers’. I wanted to interview those who were still alive, those who were helping multitudes of people each year, and to find out more about those who’d passed. I wanted to know about the John of God’s, the Bracos, the Issam Nemehs and the Harry Edwards of this world, and to learn more from the tales of the miracles of Jesus and the Ancient Masters of Tibet. I guess I wanted to touch what they had, to get a little closer to what made them tick, maybe even to emulate them one day.
As I began my research I quickly realised that many of the most intriguing stories were those of the everyday healer quietly transforming lives on a daily basis in towns and villages around the world. So I began to call them. ‘The book’ morphed. It was going to become a book of quotes from expert but every-day healers. I spoke to people practising every conceivable modality, from Reiki practitioners, shamans and sangoma, to acupuncturists and witches, EFT and NLP practitioners, spiritual healers, crystal healers and colour therapists, sound healers, readers, psychologists, hypnotherapists and homeopaths. I spoke to people working with essential oils, with herbs, with stones, minerals and elixirs, with earth energies and to those working with the mind and with the breath. I watched videos. I read and I read and then I read some more. I listened to endless audio about Qi Gong, Chios, Quantum Touch, Reconnective Healing, Theta Healing, Quantum Lightweaving, Pranic Healing. I watched dramatic videos with lots of show, and those that were much subtler, filled with humility, humanity and compassion. But oh, how I was still looking outside of myself.
I wanted to hear their stories, to know about their ‘before’, their more conventional life, their dark night of the soul (they’d all had one, in varying degrees), how their spiritual journey had begun, their difficulties in ‘coming out’ and being seen, how their lives had changed, about their experiences and how they related to my own. And don’t forget the miracles. I wanted to know about the miracles, and boy did I get to hear about them. They were commonplace. They are commonplace. I wanted to know what was so special about each person’s particular practice, and the ways in which it linked to all the other healing modalities. I listened to them talking about the art of manifestation and the law of attraction, of attention and intention. They spoke of the ancestors, of plant medicine and of empathy, of numerology and of symbolism, of the language of dreams, of alchemy, astrology and the elements, of dowsing and of divination. I heard them speak of journeying and of astral projection, remote viewing, lucid dreaming and out of body experiences. I learned about sound, frequency and vibration, alignment and energy, sacred geometry, fractals and vortex mathematics. And of course, in order to really understand I wanted to learn from them. I wanted to understand. I wanted to feel it for myself. So I went on courses. Lots of them. I wanted to know which techniques were more powerful. The most powerful. Gradually I began to develop my own practice, my own unique toolbox of methods and modalities. I sought direct experience. Although I was blessed with a succession of life-changing spiritual experiences, in the main what I learned was techniques. Not long after I realised I didn’t need to quote from other people’s experiences, because I had gained enough of my own to write in my own words. ‘I know’, I thought, I would write my own book about energy healing techniques. But somehow, it wasn’t enough. ‘The book’ still wasn’t mature enough to be born.
During this time, I began my own professional practice. I helped a lot of people for sure, but each person I ‘treated’ seemed to teach me more about myself. Little by little my focus shifted. I stopped ‘do-ing’ and started ‘be-ing’. I began to learn the art of self-inquiry. I wanted to know why people were getting ill and to understand the thought processes and unconscious behaviours that underpin dis-ease. What triggered anger and resentment. Why we torture ourselves endlessly. Why we never feel we are enough. I wanted to know more about the doubts and fears that stop us living to our full potential, and how to overcome them. I stopped needing to ‘heal’ others, and instead I looked for more effective ways to help them to understand themselves. I wanted to understand myself. I wanted to master myself. I still want to master myself!
I particularly admired those who had let go of all technique, and who had learned the subtle but magnificent art of handing it over and getting out of the way. I wanted to know more about the power of stillness and so I developed a much more regular meditation practice and the teachings took on a new life. I began to really live the Reiki precepts, rather than just recite them. I was no longer satisfied with techniques. I wanted to let go of them and create more space, so I sought teachers who could help me do that. My reading, viewing and listening list morphed, and instead I opted to hear teachers speaking of Buddhism, Taoism, Advaita Vedanta and Christian and Sufi mysticism. I became fascinated by the mind and the ego, by the deeper mechanisms of consciousness. I loved the wonderful messages of hope, inspiration and encouragement brought through by the sensitives, intuitives and mystics of all traditions, and those doing such great work in a modern-day context, apparently linked to no tradition, so I learned how to ask, and I learned to listen to that small voice within for myself. I no longer felt the need to learn another, bigger, better, brighter method. I could finally see the spiritual immaturity in the claims that a certain system was somehow shinier and more powerful than another. I learned of the simple power of being happy, of being authentic and of contributing to a community. Whilst good guidance was helpful, I found I didn’t need a system or a technique at all. I sat with the wisest of teachers who taught without words. And I knew that I already had everything I needed. I had always had everything I needed, and that was the message I wanted to share. With that realisation ‘my book’, which isn’t really my book at all, finally lodged its head in the birth canal.