Some time ago, a beloved client of mine was diagnosed with esophageal cancer. I worked with her twice a week for the last days and months of her life. She was one of those people whose spirit seemed way bigger than her human form. It rose out of everything she said and did.
It was so painful to watch her struggle as she tried to come to grips with what was happening to her. There came a time when massage therapy was no longer a viable option, but I continued to go and hold her experience in whatever way I could.
The thing I remember vividly was that there were moments when I had an awareness that something big was trying to happen in her body beyond the disease she was experiencing.
One of lifes big “aha” moments was trying to come through.
I didn’t have words or skills to define and access what some part of me knew, so I did my best to help manage her pain and just be present. In the end, Teresa got on a plane to visit her homeland of Brazil and didn’t return.
I thought of her often and wondered what I could have done differently to give a voice to that piece of her that was wanting to unfold in those last weeks.
Teresa gave me many gifts in our years together, but her last gift to me was a push toward learning energy work.
Energy work had been somewhere in my consciousness for years — on that to do list we all carry in our heads. I knew I needed to learn it as a tool for my clients, but it was like knowing I should probably go to the dentist for a checkup. It just wasn’t going to happen unless I had good solid evidence that it needed to happen. The experience with Teresa was solid evidence, and I began to search for energy schools and teachers.
My Path to Energy Work
I took a class in Quantum Healing first. Then Reiki. Both left me with many unanswered questions. Are we channeling energy or are we the source? If we’re channeling it, where does it come from? Is this a spiritual practice based on faith?
I knew it would probably take years to answer these questions fully, so I just accepted my experience for what it was and promised myself that I would dive in deeper when I had the time. Which was never.
A busy year quickly went by and then the following winter I got my first lucky break. It had snowed in Durham, and my daughter and I went out for a walk. As we rounded the corner, we saw a sled perched on a hill leading into the park. There was no one around, and it seemed like the universe had just decided to give my daughter and I a magical snow experience. She went first excitedly jumping on and effortlessly gliding down the hill sliding to a stop and exclaiming, “That was a blast!”
I’m next. I hop on and begin my descent. Three seconds later I realized two things. I had broken my hand, and I was going to have a month to study Reiki. Soon I was enrolled in a workshop starting in Asheville.
I had a fantastic experience. In the spirit of learning, I offered myself up for a demonstration. When the teacher put her hands on my back, I immediately felt something begin to happen energetically. My body was having an intense experience of something physically being removed from my shoulder that felt like a knife. But it wasn’t the actual physical experience that was so unusual. What felt unique was that this experience seemed to be coming from a part of my body that I didn’t quite know yet. I had an awareness of the space outside my body communicating an event to the space inside. It was almost like some part of me was playing out an old event that was stored like a canister of film in the space around me. I now know I was experiencing my energy body.
I continued to study Reiki and integrate it into my work, but I felt like something was missing. I began to go down that slippery slope of self-doubt. And I started to exhaust myself in my practice again.
Broken Bone, Broken Open
About a year later I got another lucky break. Yep. I broke my hand again this time doing the menial task of walking a dog….in Connecticut. The second break was harder in so many ways. That break seemed to open some deep wound around being worthy.
The thought of returning home and calling my clients to tell them that I had broken my hand again almost broke me. It unveiled my worst fears. I was weak. I was falling apart. I was going to be a burden to my family. My practice would slip away. I would be forever in debt. Not to mention I would probably crash going over the George Washington Bridge which scares me with two hands.
I just wanted to take my painful broken hand and curl up in a ball in a closet somewhere.
If it hadn’t been for that second break, I might not have found Jill Leigh and the Energy Healing Institute. And even after finding EHI I felt huge resistance toward giving myself the gift of enrolling in what I intuited would be a life-changing training. But I didn’t want another broken hand or worse, so I just did it.
I jumped, and something in me trusted that I would land.
Since then the journey has been so much more fruitful for me. It’s still about the struggle, but it’s also about claiming me. The work I’ve learned through EHI has helped me dig in and trust myself, validate my experience and keep moving forward. And that’s what I hope to teach the people who come through my door. Dig in. Trust. Validate. When you do, the world opens up in ways you might not have imagined.