I Am Not Your Guru

I am sure I’m going to get a lot of flack from my “healer” tribe for this, but it needs to be said: I am a health care practitioner, but I am not your guru.

Most holistic practitioners entered this field because they were sick of the Western healthcare system…the system where patients were not fully heard, and were seen through a narrow lens. “Holistic” is all about embracing the whole person, not just treating in pieces. Or at least, that’s the ideal.

Unfortunately, there are bad apples in every field. For every caring, nurturing holistic practitioner who genuinely sees you and wants to see you thrive, there is someone else who is exalting in their power trip, doling out judgment and poor advice in equal measure.

I can impart guidance, wisdom and encouragement. You can take it or leave it. I have years of experience, but you know what? I make mistakes. I’ve likely given out inaccurate advice throughout the years, out of sheer ignorance. Like everyone else, I am constantly learning. Most importantly, I AM NOT YOU. YOU are the most powerful force in your own healing. YOU are the expert of your own body. And YOU have the ability to create any changes you want to make, with or without me…or anyone else.

If anyone claims to have all the wisdom, look out. If they claim that they know more about you than you know yourself, beware. And if they claim that their way is the only way? Run.

If you are seeking help in your journey to better health, look for guidance, not judgment. If you leave someone’s office feeling worthless, lazy, less than who you were when you walked in? This is not the person for you.

The word “healer” denotes a certain level of power and superiority doesn’t it? It indicates a person who knows more, does more, IS more than we lowly civilians. They’ve got the inside scoop on what makes you tick; this alone warrants a degree of respect. Respect, yes…but not worship. Whether you are seeing a Western doctor, an herbalist, a reiki practitioner, or anything in between…you need to advocate for yourself. You’re seeing a Western doctor for strep throat, and you feel worse after your round of antibiotics? Speak up. It’s your body, you know when something isn’t right. Your herbalist’s prescription is stirring up some funky side effects? Say something. And if your practitioners scoffs or fumes at your questions, they are not right for you. Find someone who listens, who respects the wisdom you hold around your own health and body.

Manifesting What You Want With Hypnosis

An image popped into my head recently during a hypnosis session, as it often does.

The session was around waiting with confidence for the right things to unfold at the right time. At its core, it was about manifestation. How do we call in what we desire? We visualize a clear outcome, do all the work that is within our power, and then envision the end result as if it was already ours. Easy enough to say, but how often do we find ourselves sabotaging this process with self-defeating thoughts and doubts?

As I performed the session, I had an image of standing in line at Starbucks, ordering a coffee.

This simple image began to expand and evolve into a message…

If we could ask the Universe for our desires the same way we order coffee, we'd be all set.

You go into Starbucks with your money. Handing over the money represents the energy we put into getting what we want-this is the work. Then you ask for what you want: your latte. There is no doubt or worry; you KNOW it is coming.

There is no: "I’m asking for a latte BUT WHAT IF THEY DECIDE NOT TO GIVE ME ONE??"

There is no: "What if they don't think I'm worthy of a latte, and give my latte to someone else instead?"

There is no: "There is a long line, so I will need to wait. What if the wait never ends and I just never get my latte?"

And there is no: "I'm going to invest my entire heart, soul, and being into getting this latte. If it doesn't come within 10 minutes, it's just another example of how I am not meant for this world."

You ask for your latte, you expect to get a latte, you receive a latte. There's no emotional investment aside from pure faith and trust: YES, I gave you my money so I KNOW that latte will be inside of me very soon.

You can't just walk into Starbucks with no money and get a latte, just like you can't sit there helplessly, putting zero effort into getting what you want, and expecting it to fall into your lap. It doesn't work that way.

You can't walk into Starbucks and ask for a cappuccino when you really want a latte. Then you’re not going to get your latte, you’ll get something that you don’t want instead.

Work, intention, clarity, and certainty. This is what manifests success.

The next time you REALLY want something, think about what you are doing to get it, how clear you are being in your intentions, and how you are emotionally connected to the outcome.

I Suck At Meditation

“You must be great at meditation!” I hear this all the time.

Just because I am a relaxed and relatively peaceful person does NOT mean I am great at meditation. In fact, I give myself a D-. As my dear departed Grandma used to say, I’ve got ants in my pants. I have so much to do, and taking time out to do…well, nothing…is painful. I find myself vacillating between boredom, irritation, and rage when I’m forced into relaxation.

I do, however, spend much of my day in a state of meditation. I’m a hypnotherapist. I can literally feel my brainwaves shifting into a completely different pattern as I hypnotize my clients. When I’m in this state, I’m present and mindful…but not about myself. It’s as if I forge a connection directly into the brains of my clients. We are truly on the same wavelength.

Maybe that’s why I’m such a calm person? My brain is primed for being this way. I get so much practice being in this half-awake, half-asleep state that it’s where I’ve started to naturally reside.

But sitting there, cross-legged, chanting and breathing? Hell no. I just can’t.

Lots of my clients feel the same way. They love that I’m with them on this, and not forcing them into doing something that is acutely uncomfortable for them.

Lately I’ve started to think about this. Is meditation truly what we think it is? As long as we get into a place of being present and relaxed, does it really matter HOW we get there? Some people get into this place when they run. Others read. Some people need to feel a physical connection to their body, others want to be totally in their heads. Some people need a repetitive mental activity to get there, and others want to drift off and not think at all.

Today I was watching my cats, and thinking that they are ultimate meditators. They are ALWAYS present, always in the moment, aren’t they? I wish we humans could be half as content, or that we at least had the ability to unplug and reach that level of disengagement with the world around us.

In the spirit of challenging myself, I have brought on a meditation expert to come to my space on Wednesday, May 29th at 7pm. She gets it. She knows that we are all different, and that unlike what we have been taught to believe, meditation is not a one-size-fits-all. This will be an experiential evening of learning new ways to meditate, and then getting the change to test it out and see how it feels. Come on over and finally learn what style works with YOUR brain.

Raising the Bar

“Wow, you’re so confident.”

I hear this all the time. The way it is said speaks volumes about the person saying it.

Some people say it with a big smile, and a tone of kinship. I know that they are operating from a place of security, positivity, feeling good about themselves.

Sometimes I hear it said with a trace of longing. “If only I could feel that way…”

VERY often, I sense a profound eye-roll beneath the surface. “Ugh, who do you think you are? Your ability to feel good about yourself is highlighting my lack of ability to do the same.”

You don’t have to be the most stunning, brilliant, together person in the room to radiate confidence. It’s something separate from all that. I have no qualms about letting my confidence shine through, because it’s not just about me-I consider it a gift to my clients. Whether I am seeing them for acupuncture, hypnotherapy, or hypnoacupuncture, it doesn’t matter-every patient is on a path to becoming a better version of who they were the day before. And I KNOW that this is going to happen for them. Because my confidence in my own worth doesn’t stop at the way I feel about myself…I feel it in reference to EVERYONE. I see the potential that not everyone can see-hell, MOST people can’t see it. I KNOW that you have the ability to get better, even if this is so far outside of your truth right now, it’s completely ridiculous. I have absolute faith that you will rise up, understand your value, and let go of what is no longer serving you.

I see you at your highest, and let you rise to meet my standards of what I know you are capable of.

Years ago, when I was a high school teacher, I was guided by curriculum, and would often get fired up about the low expectations around it. The system believed that the kids were capable of only so much, never more than that. And what we ended up with were kids who would never reach those low expectations, because why bother? If the bar was set that low, why strive for it at all?

On the rare days that I was allowed to have a bit more freedom with the coursework, I would consistently be amazed at how much smarter these kids were than anyone was allowed to see. I’d raise that bar so high, and give them concepts to think about that were confusing even for college students. You could see them light right up, even when they were lost, not because the material was so inspiring…but because someone actually believed that they had potential to understand this. They would rise to the level of my expectations of their potential, and they would feed off my confidence in their abilities, hungry for it.

Perhaps my unshakable faith in those who sit before me is sometimes unwarranted, but I don’t care. I’d rather be occasionally disappointed than know I’m failing to enlighten patients to their full potential to thrive. Sometimes when you can’t believe in yourself, you need someone to hold that belief for you until you become more sure of your path.

The Vague and All-Encompassing Use of Healing

What is “healing”?

We hear the term all the time. As an acupuncturist in Sudbury, I work in a world of healers, am surrounded by them, and they range from massage therapists to psychics to psychotherapists. They are all so different, yet still fall under the same category.

Yes, we all heal. But what does this even mean?

I believe that language is important. I believe that specificity in words leads to specificity in action. Thoughts become words, words become action, action leads to creation. If we aren’t clear with our words, our creations will be messy, as well.

It’s interesting how resistant “healers” can be to refine their terminology. I worked with one last year.

“What do you do?”

“I’m a healer.”

“Can you explain exactly what you do?”

“I use energy to help the body heal.”

“How do you use the energy? Like, are you touching people? Are you using tools? What exactly are you healing within your client? Are you creating physical changes? Will they feel calm or energized after? How long do the results last?”

She didn’t like my line of questioning. I wasn’t being rude, I was honestly curious.

“I can’t explain what I’m doing, it just happens,” she huffed. “And everyone is different, so everyone responds differently.”

I understand that energy work can be subtle and enigmatic, but I think we can do better. We need to be clear, with our thoughts and intentions.

After treating thousands of patients for almost 10 years, I now have enough experience to accurately set up expectations with my clients. I know how many sessions it typically takes to reach a certain outcome. Of course, there will always be outliers, but for the most part I can meet those expectations I set. I understand that when you are suffering, you come here with a single question in mind: “Can this help me feel less pain/be less anxious/sleep/whatever?” You want a clear answer. You don’t want me to suck you into a dissertation about the mechanics of this medicine, in vague language that really says nothing at all.

The best “healers” that I have worked with and incorporated into my practice have been those who have been specific and clear about what they do and what you can expect to experience throughout the process. These are the people I gravitate toward, and these are the people who are making my space and practice reach a higher level.