Last night was my Spiritual Healing Touch circle group meeting. If you had told me a year ago I would be meeting with a group of ladies I have nothing else in common with to talk about spiritual growth and practice healing touch I would have said you were nuts. But there I was. I love this group. We were shy about four of our members because of vacations.
We first got together to take a class in a series for certification for Spiritual Healing Touch back in June. I found out about the class which was strongly recommended for me to take by the source of a few of us. There usually is one connector and in this case it is my medical doctor from a while back. It seems that upon investigation that she is the link to most of us in the group. Last night I got to know one of the ladies a bit better and was amazed to hear her story was almost identical to mine in her relationship to Dr. Kates.
I first went to see her thirteen years ago as my regular PCP (primary care physician). She was very popular I found out and had a fabulous reputation in the community. At the time, my husband and I had been seeing this other PCP and felt his care was not the best. He seemed more into the numbers of patients than the patient themselves. A couple of times he had prescribe something without explaining about the medication and I am not sure if he had checked on the interaction of the drugs. I was very dissatisfied with his care and a friend recommended we see Dr. Kates. This was at the time of our dissent into the divorce process which began shortly after our first meeting with Dr. Kates. This in hind sight reassures me there was a plan in place and everything did turn out fine.
Dr. Kates had an alternative practice and would go beyond just talking and then giving pills. One day she told me to take the last appointment in the day of her week, and so I booked a late appointment. She never rushed a patient so I waited for her office to empty and she called me back. She had already introduced me into Ayurveda but only with diet. I like what she was telling me about the idea of improving health by more than ingestion of drugs. Our conversation that day was the door opening for me for my journey and I walked through and have never looked back. She made some suggestions about where to look for more guidance and to learn more about my path. She knew things about me that I had never verbalized or shared. By this time I was on my own for the first time in my life. She was a life raft in very turbulent seas. I continued to see her until she changed her practice and stopped taking HMO insurance.
A few years later, I did call her and went to see her. I was in between doctors at the time. She had focused more on the type of care she wanted to give. In our medically restrictive environment here in Rochester, she was a pioneer and possibly a renegade. I had been studying Wicca and I told her about what had transpired in my life during my absence. Although I was there for a medical reason, the attention she gave me did more to calm my soul. She also knew I was where I was supposed to be, even though I did not.
I did not see Dr. Kates for a while only because she was private pay. The next time I saw her was incredibly serendipitous. My new husband and I had a tiny wedding dinner in this miniscule restaurant that was very popular in our area. I was pretty preoccupied during the dinner, but kept catching glances at this woman sitting a few tables away eating with a young girl. It finally dawned on me it was Dr. Kates and so I went over and said hello. We still laugh that she crashed my wedding. This restaurant only sat about ten tables. The fact she was there that night was amazing. We had often eaten there and I had never seen her there before.
The next time I went to see her was this past December. It was like it was totally planned to be that way. She opened her door to me and connected so many dots of my path. She simply knew all the things I had been experiencing and what was happening to me in my journey. She told me little about this class but I took the leap of faith and signed up. Since then, Dr. Kates, true to herself, left the area to continue her work and journey on the West Coast.
And as we sat around last night and shared experiences and stories I felt the rush of gratitude I so often experience now. I looked across the group at our leader who had reached out to me from the moment I signed up for the class. I went to see her and she practices in a space right across from Dr. Kates. She reassured me about the class and I actually drove with her to the class which helped to allay my huge doubts about the day. I now see her on a regular basis for therapy sessions which are more like private lessons than anything. We often sit and talk for an hour or more and her insight and sharing has been priceless.
I thought about our evening last night and how blessed I am to have found this group. We meet once a month and it is the best therapy and not because we do Touch on each other. Matter of fact, we spend little time on it. Our leader tries to do one technique and last night we had talked so much we only spent a short moment practicing. But I think the talk was more powerful.
I realized that everyone is on a journey in that room. Where we are on that path is as random as life is. When I went to the first class, I felt as I was the only novice in the room and I was completely overwhelmed with the self- induced lack of ability. After the class, I was so reassured I was on the right path and right where I needed to be for the most part. But I knew I had a ton to learn and in true Jane fashion wanted the information in huge quantities and immediately. And so I connected with mentors and delved deep into my learning.
Last night I realized that what I have been going through is similar to everyone in the room. There was one woman who opened her heart and told us of what a difficult time she was having. She has had her own Reiki practice and I was sure she was a totally seasoned veteran. She chose the word to describe her feelings as being disconnected. I got it immediately because I have been there too. The ladies
all shared methods they used to heal that particular feeling by spending more time pampering themselves. One suggested a foot bath. My only offering was that I completely understood that there are times you feel unworthy and pull away thinking you do not deserve to feel wanted and loved. And that there are times when your tank is empty because of whatever reason like maybe you have been giving too much to others. I said those are the times when we have to really work on accepting and loving ourselves. You could hear a pin drop when I finished. My words came from within and flowed without effort. They were not said in criticism, but in sharing because I had felt the same thing. She just looked and me and then sat back and was quiet. I thought, crap, that was too personal. But later when we were all saying good bye, she came up to me and gave me a big hug and said thank you.
Another woman had asked about spirit guides. She too was in a quandary about how to access them. I smiled the whole time she was speaking and I am sure I looked like the Cheshire cat. I was in the same quandary and have been working with my sage mentor and friend on processes to learn about spirit guides. I spoke up when it came my turn and told them a little bit about a guided mediation I had worked on but did not give them all the details because my first attempt was not successful. I suggested some books I have been reading as well. To hear her ask for the very exact thing I had been asking for was, in a strange way, so comforting.
The biggest “thing” I came away with last night was this IS a process. I know many say just be and I think there are times you must just be. But I think you have to work at getting to a place to just be. And if you do not know what that looks like, how are you to know how to do it? And I agree it does not have to be a struggle the whole way, but complacency does not produce growth. As I typed this, this image popped into my head: I pictured a person walking on a tight path with many curves and a slight incline. As the person progresses, the incline gets steeper. Finally the person is walking up a steeper hill with this small paved path winding up the rocky terrain. But the person reaches the top and it plateaus to a vista. The person walks to the edge and there is a vast beautiful view of lakes and valleys filled with flowers and animals. It is like a Disney movie. Off to one side is another path which is shimmering in light, but the person stops to breathe the air and rest for a while and simply enjoy the view. I feel today I am on the plateau and will spend some time there resting. It is a very calm and safe place. But, honestly, that path off to the side is beckoning and I know I will continue.
Each one of us eight last night are on a similar path but each brick is a different as our faces. Our goals are similar and so it is so reassuring to hold each other’s hands on the way. I sat in quiet contemplation as I heard each story and thought, “Phew, I am ok.” And I know we are not supposed to compare each other on the path, but it offered great assurance that I was not alone in my work and that others experience a lot of the same things I have. I have abundant love and respect for Dr. Melanie Kates for inspiring all of us to work individually and together. I cannot wait until we all get together for her class in September. I especially cannot wait for my private appointment when I can truly thank her.