When I do client consultations, it’s not uncommon for someone inform me that they are a powerful healer, or shaman or medicine person, or whatever.
Sometimes the person has been told this by another healer, other times it’s based on their own spiritual experiences or hunches, and usually there is a serious dose of ego mixed into to both of those equations.
On This Day, I Declare You A Powerful Healer
When someone calls me to announce they are a powerful healer, they are often looking for me to confirm this for them. As though I can crown them with wreath of laurel leaves and say (in a deep voice) ‘You are a powerful healer! Go forth and heal, dear savior!’
The reason I can’t ‘confirm’ whether or not you are what you’re telling me is because being ‘powerful’ is not about one’s abilities; it’s about the strength of one’s relationship with their Spirits.
Somebody could have a real ability to connect to those Spirits, perhaps they are clairvoyant and clair sentient and have all the ‘clairs’, but their ability to heal other people in a meaningful way will come as a result of their learning how to use their gifts to facilitate the Spirits.
The ability to use these gifts to facilitate healing work takes times to develop, because -again- it is based on one’s relationships with the Spirits.
Hey Spirits, Let’s Hang Out Sometime
Like any relationship, it takes time to build trust and get to know each other.
It takes time to understand what a Spirit requires of us, and how that Spirit is willing to help ourselves or our clients.
Finally, it takes time to develop spiritual discernment, so the person knows which Spirits to trust.
How long? Decades. And more decades. And then a few more for good measure and because the Spirits don’t like us to get too comfortable.
Walk Softly and Leave The Stick At Home
When someone informs me of their great destiny to be a powerful healer of some kind, I can’t argue with them – they may indeed be very skilled. Nor do I doubt the intensity of the calling they may be feeling to work with the Spirits (which is at the core of this situation.)
I don’t believe it’s my place to correct someone who holds this belief, and I’m not about to challenge one’s identity, especially not while they have put themselves in the vulnerable position in sharing their belief with an outsider like myself.
To correct them would be disrespectful because my teachings are that we learn what we are meant to learn as per how the Spirits choose present our lessons, so to correct someone is not only arrogant (do we know really know better?), but it interrupts one’s natural learning.
My point: I’m not here to judge you.
I think of all the times those in the Indigenous community must have looked at whatever I was doing or saying and shook their heads at me.
No doubt I inspired a choir of “WTF”s on a regular basis. But my community always made me feel welcome and the teachings were offered gently. Despite my constant faux pas, I never felt stupid. I don’t want you to feel that way either.
On the other hand, now that I think about it, it hasn’t ALWAYS been gentle! What would our teachers be if they allowed us to get away with our BS all the time? Oh yes, there have also been times when I’ve had my ass kicked and my ego knocked down a peg or two. Don’t believe me? Read this post from a year or two back…
Because of both of these experiences, if you show up and inform me that you are world’s most powerful healer, but you simply need a teacher to light the way for you, I am not going to put you down or judge you. I totally get that our culture doesn’t make it easy for anyone who has a spiritual calling to step into the work. But I’m not going to let you get away with your BS either…
Where To Start If You’re Destined To Be A Powerful Healer
If this scenario is familiar to you, allow me to present a few ideas that may help you navigate a path forward with your Spiritual work.
As always, everything I present here is according to my teachings. Yours may be different; please take these with a grain of salt.
Step One: Accept Your Calling, Don’t Go Overboard
When you have a Spiritual calling, it means you likely can connect, and the Spirits want to get to know you. This is good! Trust it!
But be careful; we can become obsessed with Spiritualty at the beginning. Keep it balanced, keep it healthy, and don’t let it take over your life.
When you have a dream or an experience about your becoming a powerful healer, then usually what the Spirits are communicating is something along the lines of: ‘You are gifted, we’d like to work with you, and if work hard at it for the next four of five decades, you could help a lot of people in your 80s and 90s.’
Step Two: Check The Ego
Accepting your calling, unfortunately, does not always mean you will become a shamanic Instagram influencer, be interviewed by Ryan Seacrest, or make millions. It simply means you can help yourself, your family or your community – however big or small that community may be.
Look, it’s never going to be about you; it’s only ever going to be about the Spirits and the community.
Step Three: Make New friends
It also means that it’s time to get to know the Spirits and start building a daily practice around them. This, for me, is the lovely and empowering part.
For some this means awareness and time spent in nature connecting to the trees, sky or rivers.
For others it means feeding and honouring the Spirits who love you through offerings on an altar, via traditional ceremonies from your culture, or talking to God in a pew or in the shower.
And most of all, it means finding that sacred quiet place within your heart to listen to the response. It means learning to trust your gut and your heart about what you’re being told and having the courage to follow it.
Taking the time to develop a relationship with the Spirits that love you – your guides, teachers and ancestors – will reveal to you that this work has nothing to do with YOU.
You will never become a powerful healer. Ever. You may never take credit for the work the Spirits do.
Step Four: Revise Your Compensation Expectations
There may not be big monetary riches in this work, but being party to the healing that’s happening is a meaningful gift.
When I am in a healing session with you, the client, I get a glimmer of how the Spirits see you, and there is nothing more beautiful in this world than YOU in that moment. In all moments, really.
I wish I could paint it; I wish I had the talent to share these visions with you, because then you would never doubt yourself. But I digress…
Step Five: Walk With Courage Even If You Must Walk Alone For Now
Some of you will say, ‘but how can I learn how to have a relationship with the spirits if I have no teacher?’
Yes, that’s a tough one in our society. But allow me to offer you some hope:
One of my favourite Indigenous teachings is that ‘No man can teach another man spirituality. Only the Spirits can teach spirituality.’
Now having said that, it’s tough to learn it all by oneself and to never have a sounding board to talk to or someone to help you debrief your experiences. But you CAN do it…
The teacher who opened up the Celtic side of my practice was The late Tira Brandon-Evans.
Tira didn’t have teachers in that traditional sense. Much of her practice was based on methods and teachings that came to her directly from her Celtic ancestors and much of it was also based on studying Celtic culture and history.
The point is twofold:
First: If you must walk alone for now, others have done the same, so you may as well get on with it.
Second: Please make a point of teaching others when you’re ready. We need teachers.
Step Six: Don’t Ignore Your New Friends
If you are destined to do this work in a good way, then you must develop your Spiritual relationships.
• Learn to shamanic journey
• Spend time developing relationships with nature in your area
• Make offerings to the Spirits who love you and protect you
• Find your silence
(I will put a caveat here: I do not include meditation in this. In my experience, meditation is sometimes problematic for people with shamanic abilities. Yes, I know you’re all gasping in shock right now. All I’m saying is that, if meditation works for you, great, but if it doesn’t, you might be better off.)
Step Seven: Find Good Role Models
When I think of the people I would consider to be ‘powerful’, a few come to mind…
• A young man I saw last year who spent a few years studying in Latin America. He developed his relationships with certain plants by camping alongside them for weeks at a time. When he walked into my living room, the size of the spirits that walked with him – those relationship he’d slowly and carefully cultivated – were overwhelming. I proceeded carefully and with much respect.
• A seasoned medicine man who personally I don’t like, but whose Spirits are powerful and strong, and I trust and respect both this healer and his Spirits. I hate to admit what a good teacher he’s been to me, but the best teaches aren’t always the ones who make it easy.
• A businessman who dedicated over 30 years to creating access to traditional healing modalities for his community, and who only stepped into leading actual ceremonies in the last decade. Spiritual commitment comes in many different forms.
• A woman whose connection with her ancestral guides is so strong that it’s taken her a decade to learn how to facilitate their work without it disrupting her everyday life. When her Spirits speak to me, I shut up and listen.
May Your Journey Be Filled With Kindness, May The Teachings Come To You In Grace And Ease. You Are Powerful In Your Own Way.
So, you see, when you turn up and tell me that you’re a powerful healer, but I don’t give you the validation you were expecting, it is not that I don’t believe you. I am simply trying to ease this starting phase of your journey. By the time you have built the relationships it takes to become a powerful healer, you will understand that the only real ‘powerful healers’ exist on the other side of that veil.
I simply ask the Spirits to show you the same kindness they showed me when I was in your shoes.