How Not To Be A Healer 101
Steps to show you what NOT to do if you profess to be a spiritual healer
[I went to a tantric meditation workshop and I intended to write an article about the experiences of that. Unfortunately, the experience of that “workshop” lead to me writing this article instead.]
My most recent spiritual workshop experience was very enlightening for all the wrong reasons. It was my first account of seeing a rather disappointing and somewhat inauthentic side to the spiritual community. This experience revealed that some people who call themselves “healers”; though they can dress the part and say the right vernacular; could be somewhat playing a role. One where they lead vulnerable people, simply looking for guidance and answers to their deepest “what is the meaning of life” questions, to even more vulnerable places. These people could even get caught up in their poignantly planted Ahos and Namastes, to believe that they are in safe spaces. Spaces where people air out their sufferings, all to be swindled in expensive “treatments” and “workshops” that lack proper organisation, explanation, and patience, from the “healers” creating them.
As a healer, an avid spiritual student, and lifelong empath, I have been in many healing spaces. Fortunately, in most of them, I have felt overwhelmingly relaxed and invited to open my consciousness, accepting the experiences the healer guides. I tend to walk away feeling like the healer was in control whilst opening the space for individualised healing experiences, and maintaining the energy between the collective. There is never judgement from the healer; and they tend to be patient to allow one to share what they wish. This past experience was the extreme opposite. The vibe I experienced in this space was inauthentic and unorganised. The “healer” seemed rather bothered when she was given the space to teach us what tantric meditation is, and how it could be practised. It was extremely disappointing, as there were a few novice people, who were not experienced with any spirituality. This was their first experience on their path to their own enlightenment. (And what a terrible start it was.)
I felt called to write this article to warn anyone who is exploring their spirituality to avoid these clear signs that do not embody that of a true healer. The best definition of a true healer I can give is as follows:
One called to raise human consciousness, and / or to help others through their own spiritual journeys.
These four points may differentiate a true healer from someone playing a “healer” for nefarious or inauthentic purposes. They can also apply to those who claim they are healers, but were not called to the role. Instead they choose to not learn about spirituality thoroughly and fumble through it. Hopefully these points can be relevant for others to not waste their precious time and money on these potential grifters.
What is not a healer, Alex?
- The healing session is unorganised, vague, or convoluted, particularly as it applies to the cost.
A meditation, divination, spiritual workshop, etc. is an organised experience. It should have a set schedule and clear guidance from the healer as to how a session will go. There should be transparency in what one is getting out of the session; particular what one is paying. For example, I have been to new moon ceremonies. We underwent several meditations, wrote our manifestations down, listened to sound bowls, and shared our experiences. The event was charged, but each activity was not. After attending the last “workshop”, each of the activities were not initially explained to us, which lead to confusion and sullied the experience. The meditation lacked flow and each additional experience was itemised and charged. There was also no clear guidance, for novice, on why or how they could partake in each itemised healing experience. Nor was there guidance on what each experience could help with. The itemised healing felt more like a swindler’s list. (All pun intended)
2. The healer’s ego upstages the session.
Spirituality is a journey. Just like life, we are all not on the same paths. Some would like more guidance than others; and, some are looking for answers from those that are supposed to be most knowledgeable. Any healing space should be safe and non-judgemental. It should allow everyone to feel comfortable; giving the client the room to expand their consciousness and share their emotions, if they decide to. That is the whole point of energy work:
Understand one’s own energy; so, that they have an easier time transmuting it, in the way that is for their highest and greatest good.
A healer is only meant to facilitate spiritual growth in others. When a healer grows inpatient or agitated when one is sharing their experiences; whether good or bad, right or wrong, this does not open the space to do that. Their ego ends up occupying and superseding the client’s work and healing. Understandably, healers are not void of problems. Simply because one is a healer, does not mean they can reach Nirvana in their daily lives. However, a good healer should know how to detach their own beliefs, judgements, etc. during the healing session. A healthy detachment is one of the main traits to have as a healer.
3. The healer is vague or not knowledgeable about the modality they practice.
There are so many healing modalities. Most spiritual and religious teachings overlap in their messages. If a healer chooses to mix in several spiritual teachings into a practice, it can be a rewarding learning experience for a client. A knowledgeable healer usually gives credit to their spiritual teachers. (Also a popular rule of thumb: thou shall not plagiarise.) This allows the healer to point the client in the direction of those teachings; to help them learn more and be guided by the collective. A healer practising a particular modality should, at the very least, be knowledgeable enough about what the session they are leading will entail, the experiences one might have, and/ or possible side effects. Information should flow freely and willingly; not be met with arrogance or impatience from the healer. (Aligns with points 1 and 2)
4. The Hollywood healing type
A healer sitting across from whichever space one is in, should be an authentic representation of themselves; so, in turn, the client can feel comfortable being the same. If a healer is dressing like Madame Serena out of Teen Witch then this should, at the very least, give the client pause. This could be their authentic self; but, most healers live their lives in spiritual practice. Spirituality is not based on outward appearances. It should not matter how many bangles one wears, how many feathers are in their hair. Nor, should they have to smell like a palo santo stick is burning in their bag, as they walk down the road. It is not based on how many times they bow and say “Namaste” to the people in the healing session. It is life long. Spirituality is work. Simply because one can speak slowly, in a quiet whisper about “expanded consciousness”, doth not solely make them a healer.
It is no secret that spirituality and wellness is somewhat “trending.” Looking specifically to the US: A Pew Research Centre study has said: “27% of Americans now say they are “spiritual” rather than religious.” (2017) 40% of Americans use non-western and alternative health care. (Natasha Scripture 2013) People are getting increasingly more interested in exploring their spirituality in other forms besides traditional religious institutions. Bottom line: there is money to be made in the spiritual community. That being said, a healer should lead a person, who is seeking their expertise, to their own spiritual conclusions. As healers, we should be vessels for personal truth. We should let go of our own ego during the healing session, and be authentic in our roles to help others. It is a business. But our true impulse for taking on such a role should centrally be around the people we serve. We are teachers. We undergo our own versions of suffering. We walk, talk, and live the path to understanding and ceasing that suffering; so that we can hopefully help others experience less suffering and more enlightenment. (Loosely the Four Noble Truths of Buddhism)