No cure that fails to engage our spirit can make us well.
The modern world is challenging, immediate and frequently brutal. As the infamous curse prophesies, we are certainly living in interesting times. Ingenious solutions are required daily. Contemporary healers have an essential part to play in changing the world and shaping the emerging cultures of today. We are used to thinking about healers in a supportive role; people get sick and then go to a healer in order to get better. However, in times of transformation and damage, it is the skills of the healer that need to take center stage. There is a new kind of sacred medicine for which these times are pleading.
In times of cultural transition from one paradigm to another, the world requires healers who are willing to become leaders: to be able to realistically assess what is happening and to propose creative solutions that might challenge the status quo. We may be required to step out of the treatment room or office and into a global arena where health matters to every single being on our planet. Some health care practitioners shy away from the word healer, as if it connotates that the practitioner does something “to” people. Nothing could be further from the truth in the context we will be exploring. The healer is a facilitator working on a team with the person they are serving to bring in exactly the kind of medicine that particular person needs. This kind of healer supports, suggests, challenges, invites, and maybe even goads people toward restoration of health or complete transformation, depending on what is desired.
The kinds of epidemics that we are currently witnessing are not the same as those of the past, but they are no less threatening to our public health. In urban modernized culture, we have outbreaks of depression, anxiety, PTSD, autoimmune disorders, alcohol and drug dependency and many other health concerns that are exacerbated by high levels of stress. Overuse and exhaustion of the adrenal glands, central to healthy immune system functioning, is one of the latest pandemics that we face in many first world nations.
This is an invitation for healers to offer a different kind of leadership and to change the consciousness of Western culture. We are called upon to sit with people and hold their hands in times of personal and global crisis, the same skills healers have been practicing for thousands of years. Nothing is more electrifying than the collaboration of creative thinkers, so we must also expand our definition of the word healer to include not only bodyworkers, physicians, nurses, and counselors, but also teachers, inventors, politicians, community or movement organizers, farmers, consultants, and others who are encouraging our modern culture toward wholeness. And we must change our definition of “healing” to include all acts that seek to transform our world from a vision of apocalyptic greed or desperate depression to a vision of diverse and joyful cooperation between cultures and between all beings.
I was urged in my graduate school program for acupuncture never to mention spirituality in the treatment room so that patients would take me seriously. All medical and healing modality schools still teach this outdated message to their practitioners. However, I have always been a spiritual seeker, studying and participating in a multiplicity of services, ceremonies, practices and rituals all over the world, literally going anyplace that I was invited and tasting the nectar that is our human spirituality. My own battles with depression, addiction, anxiety and reproductive cancer revealed numerous gaping holes in the medical opportunities available to those who are desperate to change their lives and find some hope when medication and surgery are not the right or only solutions. When all my acupuncture patients independently began to bring up their spiritual crises, I realized that it wasn’t just me.
My acupuncture patients came with pain in their knees, backs, necks, hips. One came with mind numbing anxiety that would not respond to medication, another with debilitating insomnia that began after a tour in Iraq, another with an unrelenting depression that started six months after her mother died. They came after medication didn’t touch it, surgery did not fix it, physical therapy could not restore full function and multiple doctors told them there was nothing more they could do. Many were suffering, addicted, overworked, jaded and often, on the verge of hopelessness. They did not leave that way.
In the typical style of Chinese medicine, my patients and I started moving life force with hair thin needles inserted into acupuncture points. We treated the body and the mind, reconnecting sensation and emotion, introducing enjoyable exercises, personal practices and breath work. Through our sessions, as pain subsided, questions would begin to arise and situations in my patients’ lives that felt stuck, starved, stagnant would scream for nourishment and change. Over time, they told me that they needed grounding in their physical bodies, sacred practices that spoke to their hearts, integration of their souls, forgiveness for themselves and others, grace, confidence in their purpose and absolute transformation of their lives. People did not want excessive therapy, religion or pop psychology; they wanted to utterly transform their patterns and connect with something larger than themselves, something ineffable, spiritual and real. They refused to go back to business as usual and through our work together, we created ways to heal their spirit so they could feel free, content, connected and present with frequent moments of pure joy.
If you are doing something in your life to offer solace, comfort, relief, the potential for change or even a more jubilant way of living, you are bringing healing to our global community. I know there is a particular kind of medicine that you practice. Maybe you have spent years in training or maybe you heal in quiet ways that have no name or which no one has ever seen before. Maybe something you can’t quite describe excites or frightens you about the possibility of being called a healer. There is something that happens in the treatment room, the office, the classroom, the hospital that has a lasting effect on our wider communities. And there is the healing you have witnessed, provided or experienced outside of these conventional settings. What if you are exactly the kind of revolutionary global healer that we have been waiting for?
Our communities are seeking more than clinical answers; they are searching for models by which to live in personally and politically tumultuous times. People want to touch a larger truth about the repair of our world and they are seeking healers who are fluent in this ability. There is an illusion being dispelled about the aloof doctor who is far removed from the patient who is suffering. People want healers who have done their own healing work, who understand what it is to be in that vulnerable position of needing care, and who skillfully offer a hand toward the next steps in their journey.
These transformational skills that healers must utilize are vital assets to the kind of cultural alchemy that we require in these modern times. My professors in graduate school were mistaken; people crave deeper metamorphosis than contemporary medicine provides. It is time for us to seek and become the revolutionary global healers that we have been waiting for, to embrace the sacred without apology or religious preference.
Carolyn Raffensperger, a dynamic environmental and health care attorney, asks a provocative question in an interview with Derrick Jensen: “What is the biggest and most important problem in the world that you can [help to] solve with your unique skills and abilities?”. I pose this same question to all current and potential healers who are ready to rise to the challenges and become leaders. It helps us to face the size of the world transition that we are tackling but also to see our distinctive contributions to it. Your contribution matters, perhaps more than you will ever know. Never assume that there are enough of us already. If you are ready to claim your place as a revolutionary global healer, we want you.
Join our Revolution of the Spirit!!!
FREE Teleconference Sampler Class Nov 10, 3-4 Pacific Time, Teleconference
Overcoming Obstacles to a Revolution of the Spirit: Why We Need Global Healers Now. Stop holding your tongue about emotional and spiritual intelligence and the potential of the right brain to help solve problems, Introduce sacred concepts into the modern world boldly AND brilliantly, How to keep their attention, How to shut down and redirect the fear based voices in your head…We are going to break it all open and preview the Revolution of the Spirit course material!
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