Thirty-two years ago I realized that I had a gift that allowed me to intuit other people’s feelings and in some cases, read their thoughts. I assumed that all young girls my age were as naturally intuitive as I was. Quite innocently, I began telling my friends and other classmates all about their past, present and future. My accuracy was spot on, and the word of my psychic abilities soon spread throughout the school. What I didn’t expect, was that this would ultimately lead to me being totally ostracized and labeled as a witch. There was nothing trendy at all about being empathic in those days. My gift soon became a curse, and often I would go home after school down in the dumps, because I wasn’t like my peers – I was different. My mom attempted to cheer me up by saying, “Honey, you’re just special. Just wait until you’re older. People will really appreciate your uniqueness then.”
Well, it’s true I thankfully have more friends now then I did then, but honestly most of my friends are psychics, healers and mediums. We all feel a common bond, because there’s an understanding of what it’s like to live with these abilities and face the challenges that we face by choosing to embark on a Spiritual path which is wrought with many challenges and rewards. Times have certainly changed since 1980. Being psychic or a healer is now trendy; it’s a bit strange for me to see, but it’s good that people’s perceptions are finally changing and there is now greater acceptance towards alternative healers and psychics in general.
However, as with any trend, there are those who are just following the trend, because it’s hip and not because there’s a genuine commitment to personal development or a Spiritual path. I can’t really pinpoint the exact time when Spirituality became so trendy on Bali, but perhaps it coincided with the making of the movie ‘Eat, Pray, Love’? It was shortly after this, that I definitely felt a big shift towards living more spiritually. Now it seems like people from all parts of the world are coming out of hibernation only to jump on an airplane headed for the magical island of Bali, where they feel sure they will find themselves and deepen their Spiritual awareness and hopefully achieve enlightenment. Now don’t get me wrong, because there are definitely some legitimate folks who are truly committed to transforming their lives, and I have had the honor to assist some of these amazing people in my own practice. But, there are other folks who are sampling from the Spiritual ‘Lazy Susan’ – a platter that spins around so that it’s easy to try different dishes on offer. While it’s good to have choices in life and try out different things to get a feeling for what’s right for us, too many choices can become confusing and can even take us further off course if we aren’t truly committed to a path. I know it can be hard to resist all those tempting courses and healings which promise greater peace, consciousness, wisdom, personal power, etc., etc. What you may want to consider is whether a particular course or healing will bring you closer to attaining your highest vision of yourself, or will it just divert you and create greater confusion?
One method that I use to discern the truth which I share with many of my clients is the ‘Sway Test’. While standing still, think about something in your life that you’re not sure about and would like to figure out whether to take action or not on this matter. For example, “Is learning Reiki right for me?” Just relax and wait for several seconds until you feel your body naturally sway either forwards or backwards. If you move forwards, this means yes and backwards means no. This simple test is one method for contacting our higher selves – the part of us that always knows what is truly right for us on a deeper level.
There are many possibilities some of which are really great while others can be potentially detrimental to our spiritual evolution. Here are some tips for choosing a healer, teacher or training wisely, which may save you from really getting off track on your Spiritual path:
1. Be aware of any feelings you may have once you arrive at a class or training. Many times we can get warning signs which we ignore. For example, I usually get a burning sensation at the back of my heart when something isn’t right.
2. If you are feeling really spaced out after a healing or a particular class, this isn’t a good sign. This kind of a reaction can be an indication that you’ve gotten disconnected from your body and are not fully centered or grounded.
3. If a teacher offers you a gift such as a bracelet or necklace and you notice that the energy doesn’t feel right or you become aware of negative thoughts that you didn’t have prior to wearing this piece of jewelry, immediately remove it.
4. During a class, look out for other physical responses to what you’re experiencing, i.e., a sudden headache or pain in your shoulder, stomachache or nausea, pain in your knees, etc. These can be warning signs from your higher self letting you know that the information you’re receiving is false and can be potentially damaging to you. This isn’t necessarily the case with a healing, as sometimes symptoms like this can manifest as the energy begins to circulate throughout your body. However, all physical symptoms should generally dissipate by the end of a healing.
5. Finally, pay attention to that little voice in your head. If it is clearly telling you to get out of this class or don’t go through with a healing, then listen to it! This is your wiser self warning you that this just isn’t right for you.