A friend gushed about a transformative experience she had with a spiritual healer and of course, I was intrigued. I am consistently attracted to anything that might offer a sneak peek into the mystery that is life or more specifically, my life. So without stopping to consider what exactly a spiritual healer was, I booked an appointment and found myself in the lobby of a yoga studio in San Francisco.
The spiritual healer, Christy, greeted me at the door with an outstretched hand and pursed lips. She looked to be about fifty with well-coiffed short blonde hair and a pile of statement jewelry atop her cashmere sweater set. Frankly, she looked like an investment banker.
I shook her hand and she pointed me to a back room barely large enough to hold a massage table. A floor heater pumped out warm air. She asked me to lie down face up and said “don’t touch yourself with your hands.”
I moved my hands from their protective position on my stomach and thought her instructions, while brusque, clever. Studies show that asking someone to open their body language makes them more receptive. Nevertheless, my skepticism kicked in and I tried to reconcile her manner – was it her personality or was she just in a bad mood?
She positioned a high stool next to the massage table just above my head forcing me to strain to look up at her and forcefully said, “I’m not a psychic. I can’t tell you your future.” She spit out the words like she’s been trying to disabuse people of this notion for years. Still, I felt admonished.
Then she closed her eyes, and loudly inhaled and exhaled. She did this a few times, explaining she was summoning the spirits. I bit my lip to keep myself from laughing nervously.
She asked about my father. Was he alive? “Yes,” I said.
She said he was a strong energy in the room. That’s interesting, I thought, because he has never been a strong presence in my life.
She asked if I had grandparents. Yes, that’s how I exist actually, I thought sarcastically, but said, “No.”
“Did you know them?” she asked. “No,” I repeated.
“Do you know their names?” she pushed. “No,” I said. I could tell now she was trying to find a connection, not unlike a psychic does.
Finally she said that my grandmother on my mother’s side was trying to say something. I listened hard thinking I could hear, too but gleaned nothing.
Then she let loose with a host of revelations. Not the least of which was that the spirits said I had psychic abilities. I predict, I thought, that I’m going to regret this.
Suddenly, she opened her eyes and looked at me with knitted eyebrows. She said that I struggled with self-worth and she was going to say something that I should repeat. I let out a half-grunt, half-giggle. I was sure she was about to tell me to repeat the Stuart Smalley mantra: “I’m good enough. I’m smart enough. And doggone it, people like me.”
“So you have it all figured out?” she snapped angrily.
I lifted my head and turned to her, surprised. “You’re going to tell me how I’m worthy.” I said feeling caught.
“That’s not what I’m going to say,” she huffed.
I felt scolded and swallowed back tears. What was going on? Why is she angry? Every urge in my body was to sit up and get the heck out of that claustrophobic, warm petri-dish of a room. But, like someone who can’t tell her hairdresser she doesn’t like her haircut, I stayed.
She closed her eyes and brought in more spirits. As she did, tears slid down my cheeks. I’m not sure if it was from feeling scolded or a letting go – the releasing of my defenses.
Finally, she opened her eyes and said there were angels in the room.
I didn’t look at her. I just stared at the ceiling and felt a deep sadness.
When our time ended, I put my shoes back on and glanced at her sitting slumped on her stool. She seemed broken; her anger in a puddle below her. Had she, in the end, channeled my spirit in order to heal it? I left confused. I didn’t feel healed and wondered why I kept trying these off-beat services. What was I looking for exactly?
A few days later it hit me. Trying different seminars, healing methods, what have you, are my way of experimenting. They are all exposures – experiments in trust.
When you meet someone new and share about yourself, even if you are paying for the privilege, that is an act of trust.
It’s those exposures, those acts of trust that open the heart. While I couldn’t see the spirits she did I could see that trust is a decision. One that often meets resistance and you can only hope to be in a safe situation that helps you push through that resistance. Because once you do you find yourself.