Primitive Christianity Revived, Again
I thought to share a journey of "being led" -- after recently reading from a most excellent book Nudged by the Spirit by Charlotte Lyman Fardelmann about other people's bumpy road to being led.
Boy O boy, my leading has been a long time coming. I have tried to take what came up in the silence when listening to God starting in 1999...and turn it into what I *thought* it was trying to be. This was expressed by my copious interest in healing bodywork and energy medicine and the mind-body-spirit relationship.
I had for a very long time reverse synchronicity. I tried three times to go to my first Reiki workshop, since I knew God was leading me to do something with my hands like healing work. By the 3rd time it didn't work out, I started to get the message.
I fell in love with Rosen Method bodywork which is a very sensitive, Zen, listening sort of thing. They have profound levels of awareness of the breath in its movement and stillness throughout the body and they help the client to recognize what the client is doing with their breath instead of creating health! I met with a practitioner who helped me to realize that my interest in this was not seeing it as it truly is in the world of Rosen Method: she said "oh you're a God person.... I think you need to know that not everyone is in this work. That's your lens on it and you bring that Spirit to it, but that is only one school of thought about this work...and it's actually an area of division in this line of bodywork (the God people and the it's-not-about-God people). The final "no" on that was how much it cost to train, but the "yes" was still present when I had attended an introductory workshop. When we paired up and I gave a short treatment to another woman in the class, in the fashion we'd been shown to do, several things happened. At one point she said later she felt lightening shoot through her from my hand and then through her body and she felt more peaceful. The instructor of our workshop also gave me feedback. Ridiculous feedback to give someone who has always felt like a bit of a dork and a total klutz. He said with a look of God-light in his eyes "you were grace incarnate"...
All I remember of that is that we were to help the person to listen to themselves and she gave me good material to work with, so all I had to do was tell her that the truth was just what she'd been saying to me. But something in that context, my confirmation seemed to reach her on a different level?
I then took an introductory workshop in massage therapy -- a week-long intensive with about 30 people. ( It was a reiki practitioner who I got paired up with and ended up working with the most as a practice client.) Years later, I submitted an application to go to attend massage school so i could study to become a massage therapist. But timing is everything and that too had a divine purpose.
The people who I was entrusting to accept me into massage school had had a recent opportunity with me to realize that I had some sort of other leading perhaps (and some other challenges!). Archetypally, I seemed to them at the time more like a prophet than a massage therapist. I had spoken out in great emotion about something hypocritical the instructors were doing, and really implicated us all in the process. One of them told me just after I expressed my anger about this that I should share this stuff more often because it is very powerful. The other one soon after decided that I should not be a massage therapist and should not be a part of their program. What was I being led to do with this passion that kept closing doors around me?
The one "yes" I got eventually was for something called "polarity therapy". This is an extensive program -- same amount of hours of training as to become a massage therapist, about 675 hours. You study the underlying energy principles of healing, drawing on both western medicine and other cultures' approaches to healing. Most historical cultural approaches to healing are intertwined with that cultures' faith traditions as well. I seemed to have a natural knack for this intuitive energy work, and a natural synchronicity that kept showing up.
This training included not only exposure to all of these expressions faith healing, traditional healing science, western medicine, and new age stuff. i went through the whole program with a sort of "Okay, God" submitted viewpoint, as challenging things came up or things that I was surprised God would want me involved in. I believed that everything was God's and there was nothing unsafe with God there with me. I kept deferring to God and I feel that I was used in this manner in the class.
For my practice clients, I gave sessions to formerly homeless women who were working through recovery from addiction, or working with trying to live a grounded life on medications for mental illness, etc. At that point I was too scared to let the more powerful work happen, but they kept scheduling, many of them just so glad to have present touch and some peace and quiet. One woman felt that I was teaching her how to meditate with her body -- she was used to not paying attention to her body at all. Another woman felt that she could feel energy zinging all around but she also had substantial signs of schizophrenia so I didn't want to assume my work with her was the true culprit!
At one point in the program, our exam was to give a treatment to one of our teachers. My teacher's response to my treatment of him was a little confusing to me because he kept saying something that sounds like "you're doing it, it's working". I asked him why he was saying that and he said "When you work with each system, I can feel the immediate shift. You're in the Earth element and i feel that, and then you went into the craniosacral system and i felt that shift, and then you were in Water element but not focused on craniosacral system and I could tell that distinct shift too...." I told him "Well, this is confusing! I've been showing up for class to learn how to do these things. You are teaching the class. So don't you believe in what you've been teaching us? Don't you believe that it actually works?"
He said "Yeah, but usually something gets lost in translation with students. You were just in there and I could feel each shift very clearly between each system, as if nothing was lost.." Friends, I was still not aware of this and was not intending this level of precision. I had no knowledge of the details of any of my sessions with people except that I had discovered that if I got a blank sheet of paper right after finishing the treatment and started to write down whatever my impressions were I began to realize that some part of me had experienced quite a lot during that treatment and had stored all the details!
After finishing this training program, I slowly realized that I was not to submit my final paperwork to become a registered polarity therapist. I was instead to let all of that go.... Yes, I actually became clear that I was being guided to basically "throw this all away." Even though I was clear that God had led me to do it in the first place, and led me all the way through it!
As soon as I honored that guidance and burnt up my papers in a little ceremony of "making it official".... this work began to deepen in me in a new way. I began to develop powerful psychic abilities confirmed by others... the passion grew in me to do work that was not in the name of "polarity" but in the name of God who gives us all forms of healing touch. I began to be led to now forget everything I had been taught so that I could simply listen to God and trust my ability to receive intuitive information.... I felt that God within me was saying "I don't need this system or that system. Systems are great but I can transcend those too!" (Funny that God didn't say this to me before giving me the 675 hour training to throw away!) I was now being invited to explore the direction of doing bodywork for others only as "whatever God wants to have happen here" and laying aside all my mental clarity, biases, assumptions, systems, conclusions, education, etc. I was being invited to just let God have it.
I have subsequently realized (in this way that someone who loves energy work can realize) that "Christ" is not just a word but a very specific wavelength of energy. No matter how one feels or doesn't feel about modern societal expressions of Christianity....there is a specific energetic Something that CAN be tuned into and is a divine power and flow unlike anything I have experienced outside of this context. I don't believe for a moment that it is not also found in Buddhism or Sufism, or Hinduism, or a cosmically-awestruck Nontheism.... but I have found that we must recognize that divine truth -- and this strange ability of energetic precision that I found happening to me, that others found happening in what I did with them -- this is not just about we believe "whatever we believe" and "everything is fine". These particular wavelengths of energy / divine truth.... can be found, but these are frequently NOT found. This sort of truth is only rarely found, in our defensiveness and obliviousness about the state of our own spirit. I say that as someone who has lived too many years being just such a person.
Now I find myself on this branch that can not hold and will not fail: I do not do the healing work that I do. Slowly, slowly, I have come to recognize that when I feel I'm being given an assignment that "is impossible" that means it's part of this leading. If I could do it, it wouldn't require this sort of leading. If it takes a miracle... then just maybe if it comes my way God wants to play a while and do some good for the person.
I have been too weak to do this work much. It has been very powerful and I have had to heal along with it, because if you are not good stock and you get a blast of healing energy moving through you toward someone else, you will yourself also get some degree of healing treatment too... that is kind of overwhelming for a sick person who is also trying to help others at the same time! So slowly, slowly, this door is opening more and more, as I get healthier and able (and willing!) to let this actually be my path....
This is a lifetime coming. :-)