De*mys*ti*fy: verb - make a difficult or esoteric subject clearer and easier to understand ~ Merriam Webster Dictionary
I was once just like many of you. On the hamster wheel of life, not believing in much other than meeting the day to day demands of the Western life. When it came to healing, I wanted to touch and see in order to believe in a modality. I wanted proof that I could witness with my own eyes that whatever modality was being introduced to me, in fact worked for others and would work for me.
In or about 2003, I became completely dis-empowered through becoming unwell. Then everything changed.
Before I became desensitized through the roller coaster ride of adult life, I was a very attuned and gifted child. I could feel the emotions of other humans and animals. It was like I could read their minds and tell their stories. On a daily basis, I spoke with animals and exchanged healing energy with them. My earliest childhood memories had me surrounded by animals exchanging these healing messages. When I close my eyes and return to those memories, I can feel all over my body just how attuned and healing these experiences were; for me and for the animal. Truth be told, these powerful encounters are what often kept me grounded through some very turbulent times in my child and youth. I didn't question it back then. I leaned into what I felt in my heart and soul: the rest didn't matter. Until adult life took over and, for a brief time, I got caught up in the status quo and demands of society. It didn't last long. Life in the "rat race" along with unresolved issues from my past landed me in complete disharmony with mind and body. I lost contact with what truly mattered in my heart. I became very unwell and, for the most part, debilitated. Through this trying time, my body sent clear messages that I needed deep healing and invited me to return to the place I found harmony as a child: in healing energy and communication. My healing journey became completely soul guided; one of intuition and centered in the feel of the heart. I began to make decisions based on what I felt rather than what my eyes could see. I began to build an unwavering faith in something so much greater than cannot be seen, heard or touched.
Shortly thereafter, on my seeking higher truth and healing, the Horses came into my life. Immediately, a huge shift occurred. All of a sudden, I COULD SEE, HEAR and TOUCH the energy that I could previously only imagine. The Horses became the reflection of all energy. Showing me my energy; showing me my thoughts; showing me, so clearly, the incredible power of the heart and the power of intention (sankalpa). Through my observations, I began to watch them reflect the energy of nature, the other animals on the farm, and my human family members. Furthermore, when we began to partner and work with others, I became amazed and just how accurate and transformational the experiences were for our clients. I was in awe and continue to be in awe of how the Horses are so effortlessly connected to All That Is.
"Great (wo)men are they who see spiritual is stronger than any material force." - Ralph Waldo Emerson
At this point, I fully believed in the partnership we had created in facilitating this experience for others, but I still wanted to know more. How does energy work? How is it possible that we can actually allow these tiny subleties of life become the guiding force in all that we do? My findings were life changing.
The Horses guided my journey of decoding and demystifying the philosophies and power that lie behind "Energy". While the below only scratches the surface, I will attempt to summarize the main points of findings of energetic healing (for this blog, anyway....some research is much too extensive to summarize here...a book in the future, maybe?!).
There are countless energy healing modalities including, but not limited to, Reiki, Pranic Healing, Chakra Balancing, Aura Clearing, BioFeedback, Therapeutic Touch and so many more. Each method has its own history and traditions but one thing remains the same: the philosophy and science behind how energy heals.
In my Yoga Therapist studies, it was uncovered that the well-known Maslow's Hierarchy of Needs directly reflected the ancient Chakra System. In examining each step of Maslow's Hierarchy, each Chakra and its related energies were mirrored. It was incredibly eye opening to see this reflection in a Hierarchy system that was main stream in Psychology classrooms in Universities all around the world.
I also began to notice that most of my clients who had chief concerns of insomnia, stress and/or anxiety were spending most of their days in an office setting, surrounded by multi dimensional stimulation such as crowds of people, traffic and fluorescent office lighting. They spent most of their days staring at a computer screen, with little physical movement or fresh air.
I noticed a big difference in chief concerns from that category of clients vs clients who worked outdoors or at least spent a good amount of time in nature and with animals. I noticed that the clients in this lifestyle category displayed a much deeper connection to their own intuition and wisdom and were on the journey to awakening or self guided healing.
The threshold was there. It was as good as drawn out in front of me in a thick black line. I could almost immediately predict the lifestyle of those I would see, simply based on their chief concerns or driving force for coming to our Centre to work with me and the Horse Teachers.
(*Now, this is not to say that no one in the "corporate world" can be happy and healthy. It just takes a bit more work to create the balance needed to life one's best life. Time outdoors, face to face connections with other humans and with animals, and engagement in contemplative practice can all help to bring about balance in a hectic lifestyle.)
I noticed that the Horses reflected the same energy when the client was present as that of the client. Even when the client would appear calm, the Horses would be displaying a burst of energy, reflecting the anxious thoughts held quietly in the clients mind. The Horses always "spill the beans". And so they did. They never, ever lie.
It is no surprise that, when growing up, when we got a "boo boo", the quick reaching out of a mother's hand would often be enough to soothe the pain. Let's feel into this a bit. So, a mother typically has a deep and genuine love for their child. A love that knows no ego and is purely selfless. So what would happen if we were able to tap into this state of selfless service with other humans and animals we encounter?
In watching the documentary, Horse Boy, we follow the journey of a young boy severely affected by Autism. To make a long (and beautifully touching) story short, when he becomes exposed to the Horses, he begins to make leaps and bounds in his development. This is not an uncommon story to hear when children and adults with diagnoses begin to work with this highly intuitive animal. So why is that? Horses demonstrate that same egoless love that we can compare to that of a mother. Hence, the immense capacity for healing in the company of a genuinely connected, selfless Being, filled with the powerful energy of unconditional love.
(*please note that I use "mother" purely as example, but this could be any individual in one's life that displays this trait of pure and unconditional love.)
To me, the above demonstrates the power of the energy of love and its effect on energy healing through any of the vast modalities mentioned above and being practiced around the world today.
There is a high frequency vibration emitted from the hands of a healing practitioner, much like the ions released from Himalayan Salt lamps, trees, and infrared saunas. The hands of an energy healing practitioner who is living a high vibration life, and is able to step out of their own way, become a conduit for this vibrational energy healing to come through. One may feel heat or a tingling sensation in the hands when they have become "activated" or "attuned". These modalities don't work when the practitioner is stuck in their mind (thus not "present" for the energy connection) or if the receiver has "shut down" to receiving. There will be a very obvious lack of activation felt in the hands, as well as by the receiver.
Do you ever notice how profound the energy of your thoughts are? Simply put, if you think about something that triggers you (ie taking things others do personally), you will feel the vibration of this thought throughout your entire body. You may begin to feel heat combined with emotions such as anger or sadness. If you consciously change your thinking to mindful thoughts (ie noticing a bird flying in the sky or smelling a flower), you will also notice the sensations in your body change to become lighter, calmer and grounded. All at the mercy of a simple thought. For example, if you take the action of prayer without being present in your prayer, the prayer loses its intention. It does not carry out the vibration of your intention.
"You can shift your vibrations in the form of thoughts to those that are more harmonious with your desires, and you can then begin to take the small steps necessary for your inspiration to be sensed." Dr. Wayne Dyer
The Reiki Principles are repeated by practitioners every day and provide a basic framework for a more peaceful and awakened life:
Just for Today~
I will not anger
I will not worry
I will be grateful for all of my blessings
I will be honest in my work
I will be kind to all living Beings
By simply employing the Reiki Principles as the framework for your thoughts and actions, you will notice a deeper connection to this infinite Source energy. Upon exploration of various healing modalities, one thing is common: an ethical life system that guides the individual to continuous connection.
When in the company of Horses, they will clearly display signs of receiving Reiki. They will also give Reiki (or any other energy healing word you would prefer), intuitively knowing the area of need in the human or fellow horse. For example, we met with one client who had experienced severe trauma in her life and had an emotional service dog she brought with her everywhere. Our Horses have not been trained to accept service dogs so we were unable to include the dog in her session. She was hesitant, but booked the session anyway. When she arrived, a friend of hers held her service dog close by when she entered the pen with the Horse and I. Once she became fully present in the space with the Horse Teacher, he approached her and placed his head gently over her heart, where she usually held her service dog. He remained there for quite some time, bringing healing energy right to the wounded heart she had kept protected for so long. It was extremely moving to witness and she reported having an incredibly healing experience.
"If I can ease one life the aching, or cool one pain, or help one fainting robin, unto his nest again, I shall not live in vain." Emily Dickinson
The Horses show up for life and for us! As do the trees and the birds, the sun and the moon. Their purpose is not questioned. Their beauty undeniable.
So what makes us different?
We are not. We just may not be fully listening.
We are no different. We all have the innate ability to show up for life and for each other in this same way, being present, mindful, and connected to one another, animals and all of nature. It is who we are. It is who we are meant to be.
It really is so simple. Once we can see humans and animals equally through the eyes of love and equality, we can deepen our understanding of our own selves and the wondrous gifts we can share, like the ones that animals so willingly share with us.
I hope that, in reading this, you feel that the mystery around energy healing has somewhat been uncovered, revealing a very simple philosophy that can be practiced by anyone, anywhere as a way of an awakened and purposeful life.
In loving light, Fotini Chandrika and the Horse Teachers