I’ve spent a lot of hours of my life studying modalities of healing, theories about healing, techniques for healing.
I’ve read books and taken workshops and gone through trainings and experienced many hours of healing sessions as both recipient and practitioner.
The whole idea of healing – of what healing means and what it is and what brings it about – is deeply fascinating to me.
I stopped practicing Reiki professionally. I personally have some issues with the tradition of Reiki – but those feelings are strictly personal and don’t inhibit me from receiving Reiki from others.
Even though my training is in Reiki, I would never again call myself a “Reiki practitioner.”
I believe that what I was doing when I placed my hands on other people was closer to what Echo Bodine describes in her book Hands That Heal.
I was never really aware of energy channels or what was happening with specific organs. It was more like I was open to the healing energy of God, which flowed through me and my client.
And there was always always a large intuitive aspect to my work. I experienced visions. I received messages.
It was virtually impossible for me to separate intuitive work from hands-on-healing.
Jesus showed up.
The first time I saw a client for Reiki, I was standing at her head with my hands on her shoulders and my eyes closed and saw a vision of the Christ standing at her feet.
I panicked a little. What was I supposed to do? Tell her that Jesus was in the room?
I had no idea what her religious beliefs were.
After the session, I decided to reveal everything to her that I’d experienced. In other words, put my ego to the side and just be a vessel.
Tears welled in her eyes.
It turns out that she was from a very conservative family who constantly warned her that she was on the wrong path, that she needed to return to their church in order to please God. While she didn’t believe this was true, she’d had moments of worrying that God – specifically Jesus – might have rejected her.
This vision showing up for her session was deeply healing.
It was probably the most healing thing that happened for her that day.
And that is really the thing about energetic healing, or spiritual healing, or any sort of healing – it doesn’t necessarily come in the container we expect, in the manner we expect, or when we expect it will come.
What is a healer?
After I stopped seeing Reiki clients, I would sometimes think to myself, does that mean I was never a healer? All that time, all those years I spent, was that all false?
I knew the work wasn’t false. I knew people were helped.
But was healing not my thing after all?
I actually never liked to refer to myself as a healer because that implied there was something special about me, but once I stopped doing healing work, I did think about that phrase quite a lot.
Was I a healer, and if I was, what did it mean that I was no longer doing healing work?
If the answer was that I never had been a healer, then what was that?
What were all those hours of study?
Why had I been so intensely drawn to something that turned out not to be my path?
The other day I was in my studio painting and I realized that every time I do that – every time I stand in front of a canvas and lift my brush – I am healing my life.
I don’t mean in a metaphorical way.
I mean really.
When I paint, I reclaim lost parts of myself.
As I paint, I call these pieces of my soul back to myself and feel myself restored.
And that is healing.
Healing is the restoration of wholeness.
And art-making does that.
Healing is communion.
When I paint for other people, I enter into my prayer process and let a painting come through on behalf of someone else.
This, I believe, is a healing modality.
And it comes straight from God.
My work with clients always involved visions – and now I’m working in a visual medium.
When I worked with clients, my hands always got hot. I had a full sensation in my hands – like a current running through me that had to be released.
My hands channel that current now into into a brush, onto a canvas.
I recently had the opportunity to welcome someone else into my studio to paint prayers with me.
Preparing for the visit was not unlike the way I used to prepare for Reiki clients. I cleaned the space, I lit the candles, I chose the music, I diffused essential oils.
When my friend arrived, I light the sage bundle.
We shared a moment of meditation.
And then I talked her through my process and we painted and I was witness to this amazing moment – her painting revealing itself.
Instead of feeling drained or exhausted, the way I used to feel after a day of Reiki clients, I felt energized and glowing.
I felt healed.
Healing is communion.
With other people.
We are all artists.
We are all healers.
Because we all belong to God.
Healing is an on-going process.
I don’t think we ever get there.
One of my professors this summer said, “Your journey with God doesn’t end at your death.”
The journey with God doesn’t end.
And maybe at it’s core that’s what healing is.
Maybe healing is your journey with God.
Maybe healing energy is simply and magnificently, the energy of God flowing through us – flowing through whichever channel or vessel we choose to open.
We’re not alone.
I truly believe that the soft, gentle voice inside each of us is God’s voice. It’s easy to feel abandoned when we’re upset, but truthfully, we aren’t. – Hands that Heal
When I think back to my energy healing sessions with clients, what emerges as the heart of that work, the take-away for myself and for my clients, is the sense of unity with Spirit – the understanding that we are held here. We are seen. We are loved.
We are not alone.
Whether you feel the energy moving through your body while you are lying on a table or while you are standing at your canvas, what you are feeling is the presence of God.
But it’s not just God.
It’s God the way God shows up for you.
It’s you and God and the unique language you share.
Only God has the power to heal.
When I stopped practicing Reiki, I wondered – about lineage and attunements – how could I know for sure, I wondered, the source of the energy?
My work was so based in intuition, how could I know for sure that what was happening there was fully in the light? Was fully Love?
The answer, it turns out, is incredibly simple.
Only God can heal.
No other spiritual entity or life form can do it.
You may have heard me say before, “If it’s not love, it’s not God.”
I would also say:
If it’s healing, it is God.
Healing happens in the studio
Or in your bed at night or on the energy worker’s table or in the church pew or on that walk through the forest because healing happens in your heart.
Your heart is where God resides.
Your heart is where God speaks.
When God speaks, it’s your heart that hears.
My heart feels itself expanded by paint.
When I paint, it’s my heart that moves the brush.
My heart says, “Welcome home.”