Last year, I hit a wall with a couple of clients. I’d given them good remedies; they responded really well and then their bodies threw up more symptoms. I found myself operating a one-person fire department, when I was supposed to be practicing the art of building health.
“Why?” I asked myself, again and again, in between clients, when I was in the shower, when I was out running. “Why do some clients heal so quickly and thoroughly and others do not?”
I was coming around to the conclusion that many of us carry our life stories with us like the rucksack of my backpacking twenties, inseparable from me even in sleep. They haunt us like invisible life sentences:
“Everyone in my family dies of cancer.” “My mother did not love me.” “When he left, I no longer knew who I was.” “I come from a family of chefs. I’d rather die than eat bird food.”
When a narrative health coach training course turned up on my radar, I signed on.
Healer, heal thyself!
I uncovered things about myself that shocked me. My big Aha? I was afraid that if I showed up fully as myself, I might be attacked. It goes back to my childhood traumas and my early work life.
I am a healer, a writer, a thinker, a wife and a mom. They hang together. I’ve wasted a lot of energy hiding from my own light. I have to write, to allow more insights to emerge. I have to show up daily.
Sometimes, our greatest gifts are also our biggest challenges. I am usually able to see what remedy a client needs very quickly after a couple of hours together. Sometimes, I can see a course of remedies for the client. But the gift of sight does not short-circuit the process of healing. We are human beings. We live in space and time, and undoing the process of becoming dis-eased takes time, treading one step at a time.
At home, I am always surprised, and often complain that “Every project takes time!” And my husband keeps reminding me, “It always takes longer than you think. Don’t even worry about it.” I joke about the tortoise and the hare. The joke’s on me.
I am committing myself to this truth. While the client and I may want quick results, true healing takes time. It takes time for the body to integrate the benefits of holistic remedies, and time, too, for us to catch up with what our bodies are experiencing. When we rush, we miss the opportunity for more profound healing that unfolds in time.
Healing touches every part of our lives, rippling outwards from a shift in awareness, to an improvement in energy, to the resolution of symptoms, to the big breakthroughs in how we engage with our loved ones, with our past, with our life’s work, with our community, with the ten thousand things that we are a part of, and from which we have come apart when we become sick. Healing is a process of becoming whole again.
To do this work, the client has to be an equal partner in the process of growing into health. It’s worth it. The alternative is not pretty.
No practitioner can do it alone. I collaborate with colleagues who hold the same vision of healing to share the work with me.
I am scaling back on my practice hours with clients to allow myself to write, to integrate what I know about healing and to deepen my study of what I practice. I will have fewer clients, and the clients I work with will value the lasting change that they invite into their lives. I will walk with them as far as they want me to be their companion on their healing journey, and no further.
My new practice hours are: Tuesdays to Thursdays 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Fridays 2p.m. to 5 p.m. in Manhattan only. Saturday mornings once a month. Cancellations require 24 hour notice.