Inside a healer’s world
Do you wish to become a healer? Punya Srivastava learns about the various challenges healers face in their journey, and how they overcome them
The advent of the New Age has introduced to the world a new category of influencers called ‘healers’—human beings who come forward to help people return to their centre, who understand the dynamics of body-mind-spirit wellness and restore the flow of divine energy into people’s lives. For, didn’t the Dalai Lama once say, “The planet does not need more successful people. The planet desperately needs more peacemakers, healers, restorers, storytellers, and lovers of all kinds.”
More and more are getting drawn towards this profession, as the demand for healing surges across the globe. But what does it take to be a true healer? As an integral part of Life Positive, I have had the good fortune of attending innumerable workshops on an array of healing modalities over the past few years. I have met and interviewed various renowned healers and in the last two years have myself dabbled in basic levels of Pranic Healing. And although the calling seems most hallowed and desirable in the current times, I realised that it has its own inherent rules and guidelines upon which it functions. So, before you think life will be all sunshine and roses simply because you are doing noble work, here, below, is a primer on a healer’s journey.
A healer’s journey
Being a healer is a calling. Once you have woken up to your gift of being a healer, there is no way you can be anything or anyone else. It is not a means of earning a livelihood even though energy exchange is an important part of healing. And more often than not, there are many individuals who offer their services out of their own goodwill to serve this planet. Delhi-based Lakshmi Dehvi and Lucknow-based Priyanka Nigam—both of whom are pranic healers associated with Yoga Prana Vidya (YPV) organisation founded on Master Choa Kok Sui’s teachings—are two of the many volunteers who regularly fly to YPV’s main ashram in Tamil Nadu to conduct free-of-cost healing sessions for the participants, paying all their expenses from their own pockets without expecting anything in return.
Wading through troubled waters
Furthermore, for a person to be a healer, they have to wade through the troubled waters of suffering. No breakthrough has ever come from a leisurely walk in the park. Healing is often a personal outcome of having transcended suffering, and every person who identifies themself as a healer has been through this journey. Louise L Hay, Byron Katie, Vianna Stibal, and Dr Wayne Dyer—the popular faces of the New Age movement—made their way through the brambles of suffering to reach the heights of global recognition.
Closer home, I am witness to one of my aunt’s journey to the realm of energy healing. Always a large-hearted, right-brained, selfless person with heightened intuitive abilities, my mausi Anjali Ratnaker, apart from being a painter, is an empath. I grew up watching her. A sensitive, armourless, vulnerable person who never harboured a grudge against anyone who caused her pain. I also saw her battle self-worth related issues, trying to find a balance between art and household duties. It took her a long bout of depression and a prolonged battle with physical ailments like uterus fibroids and hypertension to wake up to her calling. She embraced Art of Living (AOL) and, later, Pranic Healing to find some hope in her seemingly spiritless life. Her afflictions, she believes, were merely guideposts to the world of energy healing. “Being a simple homemaker, I was content to lead a seemingly regular life that revolved around my family and household. I had long left behind my paint brushes and canvas, and I had no idea that I had the ability to be a medium of healing for others. It was only after I started attending AOL sessions that I was able to regain my strength. Later, I started learning Pranic Healing, which made me realise that my life purpose was to serve,” she says.
It takes courage to be a healer
The decision to become a healer and make it one’s sole vocation is not an easy one. It takes courage and effort to drop the comfort zone of a regular life and dive headlong into the sphere of healing.
Hitesh Vashisht, a Gurgaon-based Inner Child and Past Life Regression (PLR) therapist, had been working as a talent management professional in the corporate world for eight years and living a good life when dissatisfaction started to creep in. At that time, meditation and breathwork came to his aid, and serendipity led him to Dr Newton Kondaveti and Dr Lakshmi GV, the power couple in the world of PLR. “My very first meeting with them jolted me from within, and I heard my conscience tell me that healing was my first calling,” he informs. However, that was just a start; Hitesh was left with a humongous task of dealing with his fear of going against the mainstream while being answerable to those dependent on him. After a year-long self-work on his fears, with the help of his teachers, he finally put in his resignation. Moreover, his own complete recuperation from chronic asthma, with the help of conscious thinking and self-love, strengthened his faith in taking up healing as a profession.
Once a person decides to wholly embrace the life-changing world of healing, newer challenges await him. The foremost being their difficulty in trusting their instincts and awareness regarding a client’s issues. According to Mumbai-based Access Consciousness facilitator Aditi Surti, this is the place where most often the new healers get stuck. “They are intuitive, they may possibly even be psychic, but they have not yet fully developed the ability to trust their knowing. Expressing what they are sensing can be tough as the information that one receives or channels may not be what the client wants to hear. So, discerning how much to share and when is a challenge initially,” she adds.
That is why it is of utmost importance to always be on one’s toes and keep shedding one’s past conditioning and limiting beliefs in order to offer a clean space to the client.
Delhi-based transpersonal therapist Suzy Singh elaborates, “A healer does not heal; they merely hold the sacred space, within which the mind field of the client is allowed to unfurl. With compassion and non-judgement, the healer then assists, inspires, and encourages the client to slay his inner demons, allowing the innate intelligence of the body to rebalance the client’s mind, body, and spirit.”
‘Healer, heal thyself’ is the mantra that a healer must adhere to. A gifted healer is one who meditates regularly, makes a lifestyle change, and develops a compassionate attitude towards all species. Healing is an internal, intuitive act of energy transference, so if the healer’s intentions are less than divine, the clients’ healing can be compromised.
Suzy further elaborates, “The space offered by any healer becomes their greatest offering. This space is created by the healer’s own vibrational frequency. Therefore, the healer’s personal journey and the conquest of her own wounds are of prime importance. If an unconscious wound is triggered during the course of healing another, neither benefits. It is for this reason that every healer must have a protocol in place for clearing and cleansing their personal space after every healing session so that sticky thought forms, resonant energy attachments, and astral debris don’t pollute their space and obstruct their clarity.”
As Mumbai-based renowned PLR exponent Dr Trupti Jayin shares, the word ‘heal’ has its root in the Proto-Germanic word ‘khailaz’ which means to ‘make whole’ again. This must be understood by a healer. “The first ‘healer’ is the mother as her touch, smell, and voice lulls the child to sleep; she nourishes the baby and heals it without medication. So, to be a professional healer, it is vital to be kind, considerate, and loving. But at the same time, it is imperative to make the person independent, self-reliant, and enable them to develop internal control,” she explains.
Aditi finds this to be a tricky challenge. “Compassion can be offered to others only when we learn to have it for ourselves. I keep checking and asking myself whether whatever I offered to a client came from a space of ego of proving myself as superior or a space of truth and compassion. And in that moment, I become honest with myself,” she says. Aditi’s suggestion, for this particular challenge, is to have the courage to be honest with your client. “Acknowledgement, apology, and acceptance—these three elements can potentially change the way you connect and relate to your clients when you find yourself in muddy waters,” she adds.
Another aspect to this perspective is to let a person know that healing is as much their own responsibility as it is of the healer. Until and unless one takes the responsibility of being open to the healer’s methods and doing what is asked of them, no healer alone can heal a problem.
Aditi offers another suggestion to tackle this expectation of the clients. “I make it clear to my clients that we are ‘working together’ or ‘I support their healing journey’. But, I never say ‘I know what’s best for you’ or ‘Leave it to me and I will sort it out.’ This way, you are not taking the sole onus of getting them healed. And if you do find that clients are getting dependent on you, then address it with them. A relationship with a client is like any other—it requires honesty, transparency, care, humility, and gratitude. Also, guide them towards people you are inspired by. Share, not teach. Be a friend and not a guru.”
Thus, working with empathy is a much better way of handling a client’s issue. Says Hitesh, “Sympathy weakens the client and makes them dependent on the healer, pulling the latter into the pain circle of the client. Empathy empowers the client and helps the healer to pull the client into the peace circle.” As Suzy points out, a healer’s important tasks include cultivating humility, increasing the capacity to feel, processing and healing their own wounds, and building a deep aspiration for truth. “These require intense inner work without which the magical space cannot be birthed, for it isn’t the healer but the space that heals,” she adds.
We all have an inherent inclination to support and assist others, but healers have it even more. However, having a clearly defined boundary is a mandatory prerequisite. Healers need not give of themselves completely and be drained by the end of the day. They need to be available to themselves as well as to their loved ones; an equilibrium has to be maintained.
“Please ensure that you are centred and grounded when dealing with clients. Do not let yourself be overwhelmed or swept away by their issues. Then we are not being what they are seeking us for. We are suddenly embroiled in their life and we are no longer eligible to contribute to them. Stay in your space and be available in the time frame that you outline to them. Send them anecdotes, quotes, and inspiring lines to support them but do not always be available. Else we end up feeling used. Or worse, abused,” cautions Aditi.
“My boundaries are clear as of now. I am a professional. I am not into altruism.” says energy healer and writer Chitra Jha, adding, “Since I come from a salaried background, I didn’t understand the nuances of ‘business’, Today, I am clear that I am in the ‘business’ of Self-Empowerment. Healing is a part of it. With this understanding that I am not here to save the world but to do what I know best to do, I am happily earning huge amounts of money. I communicate intuitively—sometimes with soft love and sometimes with hard love. I do not mollycoddle clients just to keep them,” she says.
Hesitation in communicating clearly to the clients about the energy exchange is the biggest hurdle for a healer to cross. Since healing is touted as a noble job, it is expected of a healer to render his services for free.
However, not only does this restrict the energy flow between the healer and the client (which needs to be kept moving), it also downplays the efforts a person has dedicated to learning the skills and techniques and polishing them to be of much greater use to the public.
Being clear about money at the outset may seem money-minded, but for many healers, this work pays the bills and gets home the groceries. Therefore, it is practical to be clear and upfront about it. “If you do not value and honour yourself, the client may not do the same. So, if you as a healer are squeamish about asking for money, then check within to see what judgements you have about people who ask for money upfront,” explains Aditi. Furthering the argument over the significance of energy exchange, Dr Jayin feels that for a healer, gratification must come from the success of the healing, and not from the weight of the wallet! She says, “The ability of the healer to earn through healing increases if they consider the work sacred. That does not mean that the healer must not charge for an energy exchange, but only this should not be the purpose of becoming a healer. There are mentors who hold a marketing module on the last day, of how to sell one’s skill. This takes away the participant’s focus from self-empowerment and give more attention to the money-making techniques.”
Since these are only a handful of the challenges that a healer faces, it goes without saying that healing is a well-cultivated and sacred gift offered by a handful in a world of seven billion. It is time for us to acknowledge and appreciate its significance in creating a world brimming with love and light.
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