While once upon a time I would have said that healing essentially equated with the cessation of symptoms of illness – in my case from the eczema and hay fever that plagued me throughout my youth – I also recall an unquestionable knowing within me that it was not an answer to simply medicate these things away, despite how readily this could be done. I had medication on hand but found myself conflicted daily whether to use it or not. Usually I chose not, driven by a deeper sense that it was somehow better that what appeared to need to come out of my body was allowed to do so.
Fast-track to my early adult life with the eczema and hay fever at their all-time worst, and with that instinctive feeling that healing entailed more, I found myself searching for answers more widely. I stumbled across naturopathy, a relatively unknown and emerging field at the time. I was so impressed initially with the broader view it offered that I took up study of it, primarily in efforts to understand and resolve my own health issues, but also seeing it as a viable career option for me. Over the next 5 years I exhausted its range of modalities and remedies on myself, to some overall improvement to my health and the severity of symptoms, but never what could be considered healing. I resigned myself to a life of ongoing management of these conditions.
My life carried on, apparently on track as I finished studying, was building a career, exploring relationships and eventually in my early 30’s, falling pregnant. This latter catapulted what was a fairly new relationship into serious territory, but being in the throes of new love and the apparent want for the same things in life, we agreed we would go ahead. The picture we painted as a small family was relatively perfect from the outside and for the most part, I had convinced myself of the same. But in the following year or so I also began to experience short bouts of deep sadness, as though a deep well of it existed within me and every now and again I’d find myself duck-diving into it.
The episodes were short-lived, lasting no more than 20 or 30 minutes and were infrequent but disturbing because the triggers were always so insignificant and disproportionate to the magnitude of what I would end up feeling. They would take me by surprise and leave me feeling drained and a bit shell-shocked. Where did all that sadness come from? Why did I feel I needed to cry from the absolute depths of me, and why did I feel that I couldn’t ever quite reach that depth or resolve it? Every couple of months it would come around again and down l’d go.
What could I possibly have to feel so deeply sad about? When those episodes began to occur more frequently and alongside this, the demands of a young baby, I found myself becoming more and more exhausted. I eventually contracted pneumonia and my health hit an all-time low. The best of medical and alternative health care combined could not keep it at bay for more than a short time, and I regressed repeatedly.
It was at this point a friend of mine recounted an experience with a practitioner, Serge Benhayon. I felt instantly an impulse to see him and despite his distance from me, I made an appointment.
What transpired turned out to be profoundly life changing, not only precipitating an immediate full and complete resolution of the pneumonia, but I felt re-orientated in a way that allowed me to re-examine many aspects of my life from a new depth of connection with myself and what I knew to be true from that point on.
The process in that consultation was one I am now very familiar with as a health practitioner myself, providing the springboard for what was not just my own healing process but an understanding of what healing can entail and the true role of a practitioner within what is in truth a healing dynamic between client and practitioner.
We began by talking, me sharing my current feelings and state of health, and the practitioner in response offering insight and understanding into the source of what ailed me. I felt my body become more at ease, even though what was presented didn’t make much sense at the time to my logical mind. What was shared however, resonated within my body somewhere and I registered the shift I felt accordingly. I’d never experienced such a distinction between my mind, and what was undeniably felt within my body, something that became fundamental to my understanding of the process of healing – that it is through the body we heal, not through the mind.
This initial discussion was followed by bodywork, simple hands-on-healing (SEH), but with it came a release that was exactly that… initially a sense of a ball that moved up from my lungs, engulfing me instantly in the familiar depths of sadness as it reached my throat, only this time I also felt it leave. As it left, I found myself unable to access the sadness – it was simply gone, evaporated – and in its place a pervasive warmth that began in the centre of my chest then gradually radiated throughout my whole body. I had never experienced myself feeling this way, but for all its magnificence in that moment, it was also distinctly normal and right, and mine. THIS was how I was supposed to feel, this was me, this was healthy!
From that day on the bouts of sadness ceased, completely; the pneumonia resolved within days and my health began to rebuild. Within a year the eczema and hay fever were essentially gone.
That feeling of warmth never left me and is with me to this day, nearly twenty years on, still radiating from the centre of my chest and unmistakably central to my sense of wellbeing. It comes with a sense of joy that is unrelated to my circumstance or to what is presenting for others, including my own family. I recognise it as central to my ongoing state of health, my ability to work hard, to my mental clarity and my ability to have ongoing insight and understanding of myself, others and of life. It has given substance and understanding to what healing is and as a result, has changed irrevocably the way I approach work in clinical practice.
Most significantly however, it awakened an awareness of myself and therefore all others as energetic beings first and foremost, with what occurs by way of illness and dis-ease as symptomatic of the loss of connection to the essence of this being in some way or another. That warmth I felt in the centre of my chest still marks such a strong point of connection, that it is only the loss of it that makes it possible to feel less than vital, joyful and abundantly healthy.
What I discovered was that these symptoms and ailments were an end-point manifestation of the way I lived, relating to some aspect of the way I was with life, work, with myself as a woman or with others. They reflected something disharmonious in my way of living and until I addressed this, nothing I applied was able to offer healing beyond the temporary alleviation of symptoms.
That remarkable healing session re-engaged a connection to my essence, as I now understand it. That became the barometer against which all else in life around me got measured. If something did not correspond to the quality of being I could feel I was in association with that warmth, then it stood out as a point to be examined and questioned as to its true nature. As a result, over the next few years my life had an overhaul; nothing could be ignored unless I was prepared to live without that connection. In that sense, who am I became something gradually known by how I felt within, from the quality of being I felt intrinsically within my body, and no longer from the outer measures of skills and attributes I’d previously associated my ‘self’ with. I came to understand the significance of self-care and self-love as fundamental bastions of support for this quality of being within. Whilst caring for the body and what I was prepared to say yes or no to in life was key, it was in order to sustain this quality of connection.
This paradigm for healing is one I now observe unfolding in client after client, each in their own way but each with the same profoundness of impact on who they come to know themselves to be and its flow-on effect in their lives. Inherent in all this is, I also discovered, is where the truth of responsibility for healing lies, knowing that whilst another or others can and often do facilitate this process, the process of healing is ultimately always our own, called for, accepted and integrated within the body and in our lives by our own choices.