a healing practice
I have but one rule for the living of my life--it is that I go through the door that is open.
In the movie Hope Floats, Gena Rowlands’ character says to her daughter, played by Sandra Bullock, “It’s the worst kind of extravagance the way you waste your chances.” And so, I am ever conscious of my chances. Of the open door, the open window. And I go. Open, close. This happens throughout our lives. Move or stay. Both are a choice. Never, ever choose to think otherwise--both are a choice. I listen. Pray. Pray for clarity, mostly. Make straight the paths, and then I decide. Move or stay. Open, shut. Sliding doors. And this has never steered me wrong--it has steered my onto back roads and up steep trails--but never wrong.
I am working my way around to my latest endeavor, of course. But--from a literary sense, I am not exactly sure where to enter the pool of thought. One thought leads to another, and another, and another--and I am conscious of the myriad ways this can make no sense whatsoever. But life? It’s like that. Like perfume. Perfume sits differently on different people depending upon their physical make-up, and so does life. So, too, does a thought process.
Let me start with energy. Not the great, heaping excitement of a pep rally--but, more like the energy of groundwater. Seeping in, affecting everything it touches. Transformative in its constancy, never retreating. Affecting everyone whether we choose it or not. THAT kind of energy.
And let me start. Again, with a fact. Science and faith. BOTH. There is a source of life. A force beyond us that animates life. An energy field that powers life. On faith terms we call it God. Many call it “the universe”. Quantum physics would call your aura the proof of your energy field. Proof of life, so to speak. In fact, your aura, which surrounds you and enters a room before you do is often why you are drawn to some people and not others. Have you ever “felt” someone enter a room just before they round the corner? That’s their energy field.
My kids laugh at me that sometimes I go around the house flicking holy water on doors and windows. Some people have an energy that I don’t really want past the threshold. As for me and my house, etc. Or sometimes a thought process of the conversation feels so negative that I will “shoosh” the energy away in great heaping waves of my hands, as if clearing smoke. Maggie will laugh as I blow the energy away while parting the energy as if I am doing a lap around a pool. But the energy of thoughts, of food, of conversation--I can feel it. And I do not choose the lower forms of it. And we do choose it. We choose what we accept into our world, and that which we turn away.
All life is energy. And everything is made up of energy--vibrations. The slowest moving vibration is the physical world. A table. A chair. This is physics. The highest forms--divinity, pure love...these move too quickly to be seen. they are higher forms, they are lighter.
The physical, the mental, the emotional--anything that you are aware of is all a slower vibration. It’s harness-”able”, so to speak. Think of it as a ladder with the physical world on the bottom. And the energy of this physical world is heavy. It keeps us weighted down--therefore--”enlightenment” is just that. A lightness.
An enlightened person--even to any degree--is less connected to the vibrations of the physical world and is “lighter”. Raising themselves closer to the Source, On faith terms, we would call it God, but many cultures and traditions have had different terms. But whatever the name, I think we can all agree with Jesus, Gandhi, Buddha, the Saints--they all were seeing and interacting with life from a higher perspective than just that of the physical world.
Now, let's fold in the chakras--we’ve all heard of these. They aren’t “real” things--you’d never see them on an x-ray. But what you would see is that at the site of all the visual representations of the chakras are primary energy centers of the body. Optical, digestive, reproductive etc.
There are actually many more than seven chakras-the seven only correspond to the main, vital, energy centers. And--in that--there are actually only six along your center. The 7th is the Crown Chakra and it isn’t actually connected to the body, but rather it is the body’s connection to the Universe, the Source, God. And when one is affected, they all are affected. We are all One Body.
Now, the very energy that sustains us can also get blocked. Energy, unprocessed or painful--or even just indulged, poor thought processes--get stored in the body, in the nodes, in the chakras, and they cause all sorts of havoc in your energy field. And havoc in your energy field becomes havoc in your physical body. Sickness. Pain. Mental, physical, emotional. Did you know that once a pain or ache manifests itself in your physical plane it has been in your energy field for six months or more? It’s stuck. It’s blocked. But you can clear the channel.
For years, I have watched my thoughts, monitored my ways, drawn forgiveness, walked under the weight of my own crosses to bear. And with every turn in the road, I have asked for a straight path. And I struggled a lot when the path seemed to veer. I struggled to understand what this detour had to do with the larger journey. And whenever I would feel the most left out in the wilderness--I would see the Prayer to St. Francis. On a mass card, at Mass, through music. A gift to me, a sign I was going the right way. It became my prayer, “Make me a channel of your peace.”
A few months back, I had one of my zany life-moments where a door was opened. It seemed largely disconnected to my life as a whole and I struggled to understand where it fit.
It was a healing class. A Reiki Master at a yoga and wellness studio In Wildwood, Missouri was passing along the Reiki traditions of natural healing. I didn’t view myself as a healing presence, so much as I believed I could benefit from some healing myself. I don’t sleep well and I think it makes me a little retched from time to time. I felt blocked, rigid, stuck in old behavior processes. Baffled at my own self from time to time. And I came across this workshop--apropos of literally nothing in my life. Where in the world IS Wildwood? Nothing about it was a part of my life. But I was struck by the word “channel”. My old, journey-marker. Make me a channel of your peace.
It was one of my moments of giving God the side-eye. A “really?” type of look. And He, a shoosh of hands. Go. The door was open and by the grace of God I go.
I was flabbergasted to learn that so many things I do naturally are part of this natural tradition. The clearing of energy with hands. The laying on of hands. The sense that someone is struggling somewhere, so I concentrate on them in the middle of Walmart, or the gas station, or waiting in the car. When I place a hand on someone close to me in the exact spot they feel broken to me. The back of the heart. The back of the mind. The side. The solar plexus, a prayer at the Third Eye chakra for clarity. I close my eyes and send my energy to them and, with it, a pure hope for healing.
I loved that one whole strand of this tradition is called Holy Fire and is specifically dedicated to the honor of Jesus as a healer. I worried that it would conflict with faith, or attempt to elevate people over faith and I found it does, in fact, the opposite. It is a humble service to others. To be a channel of peace.
And so I learned. And I practiced. And I started sleeping again. Can you imagine! Sleep. So many years of melatonin and trying a million ways to get myself to fall and stay asleep. And then--sleep. The simplest of all the healing arts. Rest.
And, so. Here I am. About to add a Healing Arts practice to The Winter House. I can hardly believe my excitement, my trepidation, my heart-hope. I am only at the Reiki First Degree Level, but qualified to practice at the 1st level. The thing is--you can’t do Reiki wrong. The worst it can ever do is only a little bit of good, rather than a lot. And so--I offer what I have to my beloved community in the hopes that I can bring even a little peace to hearts and minds.
Peace. Let it be. And let it begin with me.