|Energy Healing and me
My books, Energy Healing: A Pathway to Inner Growth and A Pilgrim in Your Body are a product of my personal journey with energy healing, which started in about 1983. In that time, my understanding and appreciation for what energywork is about has, of course, gone through many phases. When I first began, I focused on the work within myself, almost completely unconnected to work with other people. This was not by design, but because I simply didn’t know that energywork was good for anything else. Indeed, my first exposure to energywork practice was mostly in the form of personal meditative exercises, like those scattered throughout this book. I had been a member of a spiritual order for nine years prior to being introduced to Bob Moore, an Irishman living in Ringkøbing, Denmark, who became my main teacher of energywork. Bob led our group through a comprehensive experiential exploration of the human energy field and most of this work was focused on individual inner growth. It fit wonderfully with my understanding of spiritual practice up to that time, which was based on the classic disciplines of the inner life: prayer, meditation and contemplation. For years, that is what energywork was about for me.
By and by, the desire grew in me to work with others in ways I vaguely imagined to be at once spiritual and psychotherapeutic, while also somehow involving the physical body. But I didn’t know how to present what I was interested in, much less how to make a living doing it. By then, I had developed a loose framework for giving energetic treatments, but they were presented as an esoteric specialty and not very connected to the concerns that most people had in their everyday lives. Becoming some kind of psychotherapist occurred to me, and for a couple of years I pressed my nose against the windows of various schools of transpersonal psychology. But something always stood in the way of actually going in the door.
Conceptually, I was all over the map. Spirituality, though a real force in my life, was still in a compartment that never quite touched the earth. Psychology was fascinating to me, especially transpersonal and Jungian psychology, except that I was utterly unmotivated when it came to actually becoming a Jungian analyst. Massage and bodywork were in their own compartment, too, either somewhere in the realm of physical therapy or rehabilitation in a hospital, which held no interest for me, or, more interesting at least, something slightly lascivious—God knows what—that people out in California did in their hot tubs. This all reflected the way I was holding the various dimensions of life apart in myself. Deep within me, though, I sensed that my body and mind, my spirituality and my mundane life, were trying hard to come together, but hadn’t yet.
If there was a turning point for me—and there must have been one, because I now see things from a completely different perspective than the one I had when I first started—it came around the time when, as a bodywork therapist in the 1990s, I witnessed the effect that my personal energywork practice was having on my clients. My personal energetic and meditative practice made it impossible to ignore the energy system of my client. With the addition of techniques like Craniosacral Therapy and Zero Balancing® that allowed me to work on the cusp between the structure of the physical body and the energy that moves around and through it, I realized I was bringing energywork out of the ethereal realms, and into people’s bodies. It was no longer something that only my most sensitive clients could appreciate. Clients began having physical and emotional releases that were part of their process of squeezing through knotholes in their inner world and connecting consciously with a source of renewal within them. I was able to recognize this process from my own meditative and energetic work.
With my own physical body and my inner life finally able to be on board the same boat, I gradually understood that I had a means of facilitating what I have come to see as an inner pilgrimage in those who come to me, and of helping these modern-day spiritual travelers to bring what they gained through their inner experiences into their everyday lives and offer their much-needed gifts and insights to the world. For me, this amounted to a new vision of what bodywork and healing could become.
Excerpted from A Pilgrim in Your Body: Energy Healing and Spiritual Process
© Copyright 2009 by Jim Gilkeson.
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