Energy Work, Uncategorized

Mental Illness & Spiritual Awakenings | Reiki Energy Work for Everyday People


Shaman, Mental Illness, and Spiritual Awakenings

What a Shaman Sees In a Mental Hospital | Spirit Science | Reiki Energy Work for Everyday People.

In the shamanic view, mental illness signals ‘the birth of a healer,’ explains Malidoma Patrice Somé. Thus, mental disorders are spiritual emergencies, spiritual crises, and need to be regarded as such to aid the healer in being born.

Mental Illness: Breakdown or Breakthrough?

A friend recently posted this article, What a Shaman See’s [sic] In a Mental Hospital, published on Spirit Science. The article explores the subject of mental illness and sensitivity as seen through the different cultural lenses of “breakdown” or “breakthrough” [of a spiritual awakening]. Dagara elder, Dr. Malidoma Patrice Somé (PhD),  shares his thoughts and experience in seeing these different treatment of mental illness in West Africa and in the the US.

Empowerment in the face(s) of schizophrenia

The first time I was introduced to this idea that schizophrenia is just the unmitigated experience of the spiritual in the physical realm was during graduate school in my patient counseling class. Lucky for me, my instructor was both a counselor and an energy worker/intuitive; she had plenty of first-hand experience seeing the many ‘unseen’ beings that came in with clients. She talked boldly of a time when she shared this knowledge with a client, letting him know he was not alone in his experience. Most importantly, she was the first person to teach this client about boundaries; and doing so empowered him to manage the situation from a place of strength and support.

Managing sensitivity

Many of my Reiki students start off considering themselves to be ‘insensitive’ to subtle energy. I, myself, started off thinking I was a “dull” type — unable to sense energy at all. Interestingly enough, however, many of these people (myself included) would say they are more sensitive than others when it comes to feeling overstimulated by sound, conversation, information, etc in daily life. Coincidence? Not really.

Sensitive is sensitive; it’s a gift. It’s the gift of caring, noticing, listening. Managing it is a skill — the skill of saying when to listen,when to say “I can’t” or “No, thank you”, and/or when the most caring thing you can do for someone else is to take care of yourselfbefore responding to a person or situation. In my opinion this is the big difference between what we call mental illness and what we call energy work: A sense of boundary and autonomy.

All the more reason to study with a teacher!

Your Practice This Week

Reflect on your commute to work or around town — have you ever passed someone you wrote off as “crazy”? Would your attitude towards them change if you believed they were communicating with an actual entity? How might you feel if in talking to everyone you know around you, no one experienced a shared reality with you? (Intense!)

Drama of the Gifted Child: Oversensitivity, aggression, depression and perfectionism
Book Review, Self-Care

Struggle with oversensitivity, aggression, depression, and/or perfectionism?

I recently came across this book, The Drama of the Gifted Child: The Search for True Self by Alice Miller. It was originally published under the title, “Prisoners of Childhood.” I was struck by the name and curious to learn more. It didn’t take long until this book knocked my socks off.

Narcissism versus Narcissist

Miller explains children have the need to go through a period of narcissism as a stage in development before they will develop “spontaneous pleasure in sharing and giving” (viii). If this process is disturbed, as with an insecure parent or other individual closest to the child, the child learns to respond to the insecurity intuitively. Eventually and inevitably, the child ends up equating this responsibility with his/her own security.

Grandiosity and Depression

“In fact grandiosity [i.e. being and needing admiration; needing to excel brilliantly] is the defense against depression, and depression is the defense against the real pain over the loss of the self.” (38)

In learning to tend to the feelings of another without the equal opportunity to experience one’s own jealousy, envy, anger, loneliness, impotence, or anxiety, Miller explains a child begins to identify with a false self — the self that is praised for its achievements. It’s not before long fantasies of grandiosity and/or depression set in as these children try to earn their worth in the world through what they do as opposed to finding worth in who they are inherently.

One of the quotes from Miller’s patients I found most moving came from a forty-year-old woman after experiencing a long depressive phase:

Nevertheless, for the first time I find life really worth living. Perhaps this is because, for the first time, I have the feeling that I am really living my own life. …I can understand my suicidal ideas better now, especially those I had in my youth — it seemed pointless to carry on because in a way I had always been living a life that wasn’t mine, that I didn’t want, and that I was ready to throw away. (58)

How powerful, to realize that which we’ve been striving for [i.e. the false self] is unattainable, undesirable and unnecessary!

If this pattern sounds familiar to you in your life, you might consider learning more by reading Miller’s work and discussing with a therapist. Reiki/energy work is a good way to work with and release underlying emotional patterns as well.

Awareness is the first step to any change; and there is no time that is too late to see clearly. Fear not — Whenever you get there, you’ve arrived right on time!

May you be well,