March 11, 2018

How to be Your Own Guru.

We need to stop going to healers.

The life current never ceases to flow as long as we are on this planet, inhaling and exhaling.

Yet, there are moments where we feel lost, disembodied, and perhaps not at all alive. There are moments where the air we breathe seems to suffocate us, or moments where words like “stuck, alone, uninspired, and hopeless” resonate more than their polar opposites. It is in those moments that an inner voice often cries, “Help.”

Sometimes that “help me” voice (well, maybe oftentimes) seeks for support outside of itself.


Just stop reading this for a moment.


Take a deep breath and look around.

Take in your surroundings: the sounds, the smells, the temperature.

Now close your eyes and take in your inner surroundings.

There is a pulse that moves through you—a current of energy, which yoga calls pranaChinese medicine calls chi, and the western world calls it life. 

Do you feel that pulse? It’s okay if you don’t.

We all have moments when that life pulse suddenly goes numb—moments that leave us longing and lost and lonely.

The pull to seek outside ourselves for answers:

The outside seems to have answers for us in those “lost and lonely” moments, doesn’t it?

Self-help books abound. Scrolling through my Instagram feed this morning, I saw a handful of coaches, yogis, and holistic wellness practitioners sharing their own work: books, memes with advertisements for sessions with them, selfies of them doing difficult poses with seeming ease and grace, with this I-have-the-answers-for-you energy being poured into the virtual world in vivid images and inspiring words. But those who provide answers abound in the real world too!

Here I am writing this article to share my personal experience, and you might have opened it for some sort of answer to your deep-down-answer-seeking-self.

There is absolutely nothing wrong with seeking outside of ourselves for hope when the word “hopeless” is wrapped around our souls like a cold and constricting blanket.

I’ve had more outside seeking moments than I can count on my digits. I’ve sought out psychics and healers for a glimmer of hope. Sometimes, they’ve pulled back the dark curtain in my mind with their words or healing touch, revealing the sunshine I somehow thought I’d lost. But even when they’ve peeled back the curtains, the darkness that pushed me to seek outward for light stayed with me. I’ve left healing sessions feeling lighter, but even more afraid of the dark. Why?

Teach a human to fish, don’t fish for the human.

I was trained as a Reiki Master. For years, when I taught levels 1 and 2 classes, I would tell the story of how Master Usui began to teach Reiki. He offered healing sessions for free to the villagers and they all left, healed of their ailments. However, when the people he initially healed started knocking on his door a second time, complaining of new ailments, he knew he was merely enabling them by healing again. “I must teach them to heal themselves, or they will be dependent on me their whole lives,” Usui said. And so he began to pass attunements and open the eyes of his fellow villagers to the gift we all have within: the gift of healing our own selves.

After a while, when I started to realize my Reiki clients were becoming dependent on me, I would encourage them to take a Reiki 1 class and learn how to heal themselves. I remember one client said to me: “Why should I do that when I have you? I like coming to you. I don’t want to do it for myself.”

When is dependency self-defeating?

It’s true: we need each other. Humans are social creatures. Some dependency is healthy. Some dependency is healing. But what is that fine line when dependency becomes co-dependency that borders on lack of trust in your soul’s ability to heal itself? I have a psychic friend who has a rule with her clients: one reading a year. If a client asks for more than one reading, she says no and tells them, “That means you are putting more faith in me than in yourself. Trust yourself.” At first, I thought this was harsh, but then as I sat with it, I thought it was empowering. This psychic teaches intuition development classes she encourages clients to take, similar to the encouragement Usui gave to his healing clients to become Reiki practitioners.

We are all natural healers and psychics.

Equilibrium is our natural state. Just as our physical bodies are constantly seeking balance, so are our minds, our hearts, and our spirits. We all have a natural instinct to heal pain. We also all have an unseen eye: the third eye (orAjna chakra), physically located between and slightly above the eyebrows. Our intuition, or sixth sense, is essentially a sense we have to learn to use and develop. We all have slightly different ways of tuning into this other sense—be it thought, feeling, sound, dreams, or a combination of these. What happens sometimes when we give our power over to others—be they psychics, healers, life coaches, is that we tune out our own intuition and let them (the seeming experts) tune into it for us.

Sometimes, we benefit from having another hold our hand and walk with us from that land of hopelessness into the light. Sometimes, having our hand held validates our own felt sense of what is going on. But then we must let go.

When we can’t let go of that validating, it’s-all-okay hand, then we know: it’s time to learn to be our own healer.

Learning to become the master of your own healing journey can feel like jumping into a black hole. When we jump, we completely surrender to the abyss and let it swallow us whole. Somehow, after journeying through the darkness of the unknown, we find a connection to that invisible force—prana, chi, life—that is more supportive than a hand supporting our hand.

Somehow, we’ve become blanketed in cosmos, where the whole universe has our back. In that space, we come alive. In that space, we see: we were never alone in our seeking. In that space, the answers lie before us, only visible to our own eyes—only touchable by our own soul.

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Author: Sarah Theresa 
Image: Larm Rmah/Unsplash
Editor: Angel Lebailly
Copy Editor: Lieselle Davidson

Copy & Social editor: Sara Kärpänen

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