I have spent a great number of years adventuring through different therapies, modalities and practices with a few cults (churches are in that category) thrown in.
Many years ago I had a spirit guide drawing where someone draws either the spiritual version of you or someone close who is in your Auric field. Instead of a groovy looking fairy or some such image the drawing was of a little bald-headed man in a dark Victorian suit with round glasses a pencil and a note pad. He was travelling with me taking notes and apparently had been with me for quite a while.
Over the years I have found that I have had a trainload of these types of beings around me both in human and E. T form for the majority of my life, curious beings who want to know more.
I am by nature somewhat of an interrogator (as I have aged it has gotten less like an impending wave of confrontation and more like a gentle river that curves around rocks). I always seem to ask the questions others forget to ask, mainly out of absolute curiosity in human behaviour rather than looking for faults.
Many of my adventures into alternative therapy have been with a detectives hat on. I was brought up on every Agatha Christie movie there was! And my favorite board game was Cluedo. I loved looking deep inside the human psyche, shadow and all and still do. I love researching and investigating different theories and philosophies that are not necessarily within the mainstream.
I happily dive in deeply without drowning and getting lost along someone else’s trail. Or if I do get a bit waterlogged I float up to the surface of my own path pretty fast. I have always walked my own journey regardless of not belonging but that does not mean the door to learning has ever closed…nor will it ever. Still as curious as a cat and happily so! I have experienced wonderful moments of awareness and bliss as well as confronting moments of feeling horrid because the therapist or group leader did not know or was not aware of what they were doing.
People have been manipulated emotionally by therapists, flipped out from being brainwashed in a cult, been sexually abused by a so called shamans and healers who were unwell themselves, massaged inappropriately, given plant medicine in such a large group without making sure that the person could manage the impact, done healing that has left the person out-of-body, fragmented and not completed a session properly due to time and money. These are just some of the experiences of clients that have come to me with their stories.
So safe practices are paramount in my service. A woman recently wrote to say that by my ‘safe practices’ credo I was saying that other shamanic practices were not safe. Well, yes and no. There are practicing shamans and those that work in the field who I have great respect for and often refer people to them depending on where they are in the world. But being around the alternative scene for a very long time now I have seen a good wallop of shabby charlatans both indigenous and non indigenous using their glamour coats to manipulate and gain money whilst doing very little of authentic service to those in need.
So no, many practices are not safe both in the realm of shamanism and other alternative therapies ( often not intentionally , just not experienced enough). Anyone can be a so called ‘New Age Therapist’ now days as there is no reviewing of such practices. Something that I would like to be a part of one day.
Some people have said to me that if a person goes to a bad or untrained therapist or they didn’t cope with what they took then that’s their choice, their lesson. Yes, true to a point. I myself have had my share of them but the problem is for many people it takes a lot to seek help, to open yourself up and share your wound and if you have a bad experience, or pay a fortune for what I call a ‘fluffy healing,’ you often become so disillusioned that you find it hard to trust anyone else. Trust is important for spiritual and emotional development.
Many people who have suffered from child abuse/trauma and or mental health issues are attracted to the alternative therapies and I am very pro active to advocate for safe practices so when someone is seeking guidance in the alternative field that they get the service they are looking for and with a practitioner that is grounded and knows how to ‘be of service’.
I have no trouble giving clients a number of someone who I feel may help in a certain area of their live’s as I cannot be all things to everyone. Being of service is not about the ego getting fed, it’s about assisting another on ‘their’ path to wellness.
The term spiritual emergence is defined as the movement of an individual to a more expanded way of being that involves enhanced emotional and psychosomatic health, greater freedom of personal choices, and a sense of deeper connection with other people, nature, and the cosmos.
When spiritual emergence is very rapid and dramatic this natural process can become a crisis, and spiritual emergence becomes spiritual emergency. This has also been called transpersonal crisis, acute psychosis with a positive outcome, positive disintegration and an extreme state. There is no sharp division between emergence and emergency. (Stanislav Grof)
This does tend to happen to quite a number of people when diving head first into alternative practices. The most common I have heard is from people doing too many hard yoga postures to the point that they awaken their Kundalini way too fast (the coiled energy/Serpent at the base of the spine) and cannot shut it down.
There is a lot of stimulation of the psyche on the path to consciousness, so for some, if not balanced and done slowly, one can arrive at a place of crisis, a place of spiritual emergency.
For most this experience will balance itself out in time (if not interfered with) and will be seen as a great spiritual awakening and a profound life experience, but for others it can lead to more unconscious shadow issues arising to the surface. This is when ‘safe practices’ are paramount as they can make the difference in assisting the person to adjust and bring a grounded balance to their state of awakening. Otherwise the person may unravel, have a breakdown, take hard drugs to block the feelings out or find themselves under the mental health model of care, suffering from continual psychosis and the medicated merry go round.
I am not saying all this to freak you out and put you off the wonderful adventures that you will have on the road to consciousness. I am saying it because I want you to enjoy it and do it with awareness and safety. I have gained untold riches through my experiences and as my practice and my writings often attract sensitive and acutely sensitive people, its important to me that safety in alternative practices becomes more widespread. If you yourself can learn how to discern if the person who is offering the session or workshop is a person of integrity, knows what they are doing and begin to trust your instincts in making the right choice for yourself to venture in that particular direction then you will be on a much safer pathway to consciousness.
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