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Evolution of a Shaman: My Journey as a Healer

Updated on May 23, 2017
SaraGardner profile image

I live in the middle of the Finnish forest on the edge of a small lake. I've created this space as a healing retreat.

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I started off my healing career as a Reiki healer, thinking that I would save the world.

For the first few years I saw the broken people of society and rushed into their lives to save them with my power and light. I felt good about myself. Life was perfect.

Then one summer I made friends with my alcoholic summer neighbour (someone who spends their entire summer at their cottage), and she made me recognise that in fact I was just judging people! No matter how lovely and pure my intentions may have been, if I decide that somebody is an alcoholic (for example) and strive to heal them, then I have judged them to be "less than." After all, they might not have a problem with who they are!

I spent months unravelling that aspect of my personality. The practical aspects weren't so hard; all I had to do was wait until somebody asked me for help rather than setting out into the world to hoover up all the “bad” stuff. After all, some folks live a life that might have them labelled as “something,” but if they are happy with their lot, who are we to judge?

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I then broadened the reach of my Reiki healing with a couple of years at the UK School of Energy Healing. There I learned about such things as Inner Child healing, Past Life Regression, Defence Structures, Entity Release, Relationship Cords, Energetic Structures and Management. I was in healing heaven and set about changing myself instead of the world. It all seemed very wise and obvious at the time.

I spent months discovering destructive patterns in my energy and releasing old shit, relentlessly diving into my stuff and triumphantly clearing it, on and on

I discovered the frustrating truth that when you peel back one layer you find another 60 beneath but I was never disheartened by this as working on myself was my new favourite thing to do, a hobby. I got to feel lighter and clearer......and I wasn't judging others like I did before. I had set up my holistic healing holidays and they were proving to be really successful. To help others step out of their former prisons was such a wonderful experience to witness and be part of.

I didn't need to worry about the layers thing either as eventually I saw that when I repeated a healing action enough times my mind would assimilate the process into a self fulfilling step. For example, after so many years of not being afraid of my anger, instead processing it via physical release, chopping wood, walking, running, digging, rowing, etc. I finally arrived at the point wherein old anger could arise and I could just let it go with breath. What had previously taken months was now achieved in mere seconds. Hurrah for me, I was on a roll!

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But as I planned my third and final year at the school the Universe stepped in. As I drove into the petrol station a divine message was delivered to the back of my mind telling me that my credit card would be declined and lo and behold it was! I paid with another means and drove home to contact the company who informed me that my new limit was my balance. This was a major financial blow to my school plans and sent me reeling with shock.

Hadn't I been the perfect student, hadn't I understood that this course was definitely my thing and therefore the Universe would be supporting me in it, no matter what?!! Nothing made sense anymore, I was inconsolable and devastated to think I wouldn't be going back to complete my third year.

My mother offered to lend me the money, and in a moment of realisation I knew that continuing to rely on my parents to sort out my life was practically and literally the opposite of what was needed. I told her no, I had created this mess and I was the one that needed to work through it.

And so with a broken heart and a feeling of disbelief I finally wrote to the school and told them that I wouldn't be attending the final year. I was broken, and then with all the times I sat imagining my friends getting together I would break myself anew. I didn't deny any part of the process to myself—I was raw and anguished, in turmoil for weeks....

Then one day it hit me, it smacked me right in the face! When I had started at the school my biggest issue was my lack of self worth, the “I'm not good enough” mantra that so many of us carry around as our main vibration rather than something constructive or helpful like “I am awesome”

What I had done with all my amazing knowledge of Energy Healing was to use it to systematically remove all the undesirable aspects of myself. I had taken all of that powerful energy and used it as a daily weapon against myself! All of my raw power had been directed into the “I'm not good enough” Somehow I had figured that if I could just process away all of my “bad” bits then I would become a “good” girl and finally be acceptable to the world.

Suddenly all my ranting against the f**king Universe for tricking me into thinking it would support me when I found my true path fell away, the clouds parted and I saw the most beautiful truth. I hadn't been abandoned, I hadn't been tricked, in fact I had been saved from myself. Just like with my cancer, it took something huge and immutable in my path to stop me so completely, to knock me so far off my track that even I with all my stubborn arrogance would eventually have to notice the truth that was staring me in the face.

Never laugh at the fly beating itself against the window in a desperate attempt to reach the light, the irony will always you be on you!

And so I began to heal the longest rift in my Universe, the idea that I would bend over backwards to be kind to everyone.....yet “everyone” never included me. We hold ourselves up to ridiculous standards in a subconscious attempt to attain enough worthiness to get into the worthy club, yet we never actually count ourselves amongst those who may benefit from our goodness of heart. The word “selfish” is loaded with negativity and thrown as an insult in our upside down world.

The death knell of my long term toxic relationship began to toll as he turned to me and snarled “You really love yourself don't you?” as if it were the worst crime I could possibly be accused of, and I could feel the smile that came inside me as I looked him in the eyes and answered “Yes, yes I do” It's amazing how clear things suddenly become when you open your own eyes.

Then one must remember to walk their walk and not just talk their talk.

And so my healing path turned towards acceptance, sitting back and letting the bigger picture emerge, knowing that that which no longer served me would effortlessly fall away as the autumn leaves do when the time is right.

I wondered why I would get so caught up in the details of past lives, inner child and astral planes when a beautiful reiki session would bathe someone in pure energy and wash away all in its path with the same gentle but powerful energy of water.

To see things in pure energy terms means not being distracted by someone's defence structures although one must always remain aware of one's own, as yet, unseen defensive structures. I must acknowledge that certain events in my life have bent me out of shape, some of them in ways that will never straighten out again. And so it is to willingness and intention that I must turn in order to satisfy myself that I do not add to the burden of others.

My intention is to help others that would come to me for assistance but I will not waste my energy on anyone who isn't willing to help themselves. Someone once complained to me about their really painful lower back and I showed them a series of really easy exercises to do which would release the psoas muscle and bring relief. They tried the exercises right there and experienced instant relief. Next time that I met them they complained about their back again and I asked if they were doing the exercises. No they weren't. End of my interest.

Not that things are ever so clear cut, after all there is clearly something amiss in the energy field of somebody that will not even raise a finger to help themselves or can't even acknowledge that they already know how to help themselves!

Then, I began to re-discover the healing properties of nature. Bathing in a sauna, drawing your drinking water from a well and using an outside toilet really highlight modern disconnectedness from nature. Don't forget, we ourselves are nature too.

The greatest healings come when folk see for themselves rather than being told. Come out into nature and take off your coats, you are not a parent, not a child, not a spouse, not a sibling, not a teacher nor a student, not a boss nor employee. What you are left with is an opportunity to really see yourself. Of course you could walk out into the forest for weeks without meeting another soul and go home perfectly content with what you have.

Others spend time with the reiki healer/shaman, their energies entwined in a dance. I believe that the two energies of reiki healer and shaman make a wonderful combination. My highest skill within my reiki remit is to be as empty a vessel as possible that I can channel the energies of both the Universe and Mother Earth through a person so as to wash that person clear of all they wish or are ready to let go of and to imbue their cells with sizzling potent energy. To empty myself I let go my ego and dismantle my defences.

The shaman is on hand for those who have travelled far within their own self discovery and yet still there is a piece of their soul trapped somewhere seemingly inaccessible to them. The shaman is the master of soul retrieval.

As a shaman I have taught myself to be able to safely leave large parts of myself so that I can travel beyond normal dimensions, I can stretch myself into those places wherein soul fragments float in torment or limbo. Sometimes just to awaken the lost aspect is enough, sometimes it seems as if there is a delivery of hope and that is all that's needed for connections to be restored and reignited .

One time I did everything I knew how, I listened, I turned up, I removed all obstacles except for the one which I cannot....and it endured.

“I have her,” he said.

“She's mine.”

“There is nothing you can do.”

And he was right.

One can only heal in another that which is whole in yourself. The question still endures, did I fail this person or did I discover a lost aspect of my own self? As always, time will tell.

This is the beautiful thing about being a healer, you help others and yourself. You can't help anyone unless you are willing to be vulnerable, to open yourself and be exposed.....after all, that's what you are asking of others!

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When somebody asks for my credentials as a healer, I don't quote them my certificates or ceremonies. Instead, I think about my early years of confusion, the lights that guided me and spoke to me, the constant default of suicidal thoughts just to be able to go home and be at peace, the self harm with razors or can rings, having 3 beautiful children, failed marriages, a long term abusive relationship, a short term relationship with my soul mate before he died in my arms, cancer, abdominal lesions or just living in a world wherein you seem to see things so very differently to everyone else but you really just want to belong and sometimes would happily fragment your own soul just to be able to fit in. This is why I understand darkness, and my own healing journey is why I do not fear it.

It is in Darkness we are revealed.

So as you can see, my own healing journey and my journey as a healer are a perfect example of the cosmic dance. The whole of Creation is a dance to which we join in anytime and anyhow. This dance is how we express the inexpressable.

What matters is giving over to what you love (Mermaid chair)

I share my thoughts on my life to inspire or help others, please share freely and comment, ask questions, engage!

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      Sue Fullwood 2 months ago

      Inspiring.