Sometimes it feels like déjà vu. And sometimes it is a big relief that is not déjà vu at all. At least, that is the way it was for me recently.
Recently I ran into “Susan” with whom I had taken some healer development classes with over a decade ago.
Back then, Susan and I were both so excited about the possibilities of what we were learning. It was a blast to work with energy healing and see the impact it had on peoples’ physical and emotional healing. We were inspired at the possibilities. We loved the work, the practice, all the possibilities of being able to help people in this way.
And so it was quite natural that we all wondered what it might be like to pursue doing this type of work for a living.
What would it be like to be a professional healer? How would it be to spend our days helping people recover from injuries and illnesses faster?
It seemed almost too fabulous to imagine at first, and yet the idea of it felt so potentially rewarding it was impossible to set aside.
We dreamed, we pondered, we practiced. We shared the possibilities and potentials with each other, and then we dreamed some more.
A career helping people with energy and spirit! How fulfilling and rewarding that would be. We both agreed this was what we really wanted to do.
It was also clear that becoming a healer was not a path that was charted by many people. Both Susan and I were wanting to leave corporate America and do something more meaningful. I was working as an analyst in information technology, and although I did well at it, inside it felt dry and uninspiring. Meanwhile, Susan held a high-level executive position at a Fortune 50 company. She hated
her job, which came with a heavy travel schedule and a constant grind of 70 hours a week.
Was it do-able, to switch from corporate respectability to something so, well, different?
Was it even viable, from a financial point of view?
The assumption always seemed to be “no”. And there-in right there was the rub — the confusion,
the lack of direction. That there weren’t many successful role models around that we could look learn from didn’t help. (In my cynicism, I noted that there were many more people teaching energy healing than actually running successful practices.)
Susan and I often spoke of our desire to leave the corporate world. The whole thing, it seemed, just boiled down to an issue of the “right time” to do so.
Upon completing the program, Susan and I went our separate ways. I lost touch with her, though I heard through the grapevine that she had moved on to study more forms of healing. Given her talent with energy and her enthusiasm, I thought that was great.
I resumed my work in IT. Things seemed to go back to normal on the outside. But inside, it was a different story.
I don’t remember at what point I consciously decided that I was going to find a way to create a professional healing practice.
There wasn’t a defining moment. It was so unlike me, someone who always preferred things nicely planned out. All I knew is that I was technically good enough with energy to help a lot of people. And then at some point, it was as if something bigger than me grabbed me and pulled me forward.
At every step in the path, it was all I could do to stop kicking and screaming with myself. At some point, I resorted to just surrendering to what was expected of me in the moment. I didn’t understand why I had such inner resistance to moving forward, but I did. And somehow I could not retreat backwards or stop, either.
And so I moved the only way I could, which was forward.
There was the continuing technical development of a healer that I embraced, of course. This part of the journey actually excited me. I love learning. In fact, I don’t think any healer worth their salt should ever feel like they know it all, and there’s no shortage of new ways to work with energy to expand one’s craft. I studied with prominent healers like Rosalyn Bruyere and others.
Then I discovered there were a lot of practical issues that I had to absorb, as far as how to get a practice up and running. Most healers have little knowledge in this area, since healer programs don’t typically prepare their graduates in this way. That means anyone who is serious about building a practice has to have the initiative to learn these important things on their own. Most healers are woefully unprepared for what it really takes to run a practice successfully. Some imagine that all that is needed is being good at what you do and the clients will magically show up.
Last and probably most importantly, there’s a considerable amount of internal emotional work that’s required. Healers see and hear a lot of things that the average bear simply does not. This is not a path for the faint of heart, and it demands a certain amount of internal stamina, groundedness, honesty and the willingness to do some deep spiritual and emotional inner inquiry. Otherwise, all you are is a practitioner with a certification.
Fast forward to my recent conversation with Susan again. I had not spoken to her since the day we completed the healership development program 10 years ago.
As we caught up, a strange feeling overcame me as Susan told me she had remained in her corporate job for the last 12 years. In fact, it was just this month that she was retiring finally pursue her dreams of being an energy healer.
I was surprised. How could someone so excited about her inner calling stay so long in a position she hated so much? What had kept her from doing any of her heart’s calling?
I also noticed that our conversation about working with energy and helping people was basically the same as it was 10 years ago. It was as if nothing had changed. But for me, hearing the same words now felt different inside because I had changed. It was no longer about “some day” because I had gone out and done it. Susan had spent the last 12 years of her life doing something she hated, waiting to retire so she could then do what she really wanted. In that time, I had decided I would move forward anyway, just to see what could happen. I have been very glad I did.
I didn’t judge her, but I knew I could never live that way.
I knew there was no way to express all of this to Susan. And it certainly wasn’t because I felt like an uber-courageous or superior person.
But in that moment, I saw the crystallized value of taking a chance. I knew I would never have to look back, regretting spending much of my life doing something I did not like. I might have felt half crazy along the way to do what I was doing, and there have been numerous obstacles I’ve had to overcome, but a basic sense of persistence and commitment helped me find a way to generate an abundant practice (which seems to be the main sticking point for many people in moving forward with their dreams).
To Susan, most of this is still just a dream. And that is fine. Some things only come through experience. But the fact is, running a practice and seeing clients every day is nothing like taking classes in energy healing, and there is no way anyone knows that until they do it.
I had an image of Susan sitting on the sidelines of her favorite sporting event for 12 years, waiting
for the day she might play on the field herself. And the only thing keeping her from playing
is herself. It was never really about the money or the right time.
Everyone needs to make these kinds of decisions for their own lives. There is no “right” answer.
I know that everyone is on their path in their own way. There’s no rule that says anyone has to do anything. I only know what’s right for me. I would only say, to those who
have a dream inside, it’s OK to dream. Just don’t wait too long for the “right time” or “some day”.
You might miss the game all together.
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