My Awakening Journey
MY HEALING JOURNEY paralleled my path to becoming a Somatic Therapist, Shamanic Practitioner and Entheogen Facilitator/ Integration Specialist. Much like life, healing journeys are rarely linear. Mine was no exception. There were numerous twists, turns and complexities along the way. As the son of two dysfunctional, physically, and emotionally abusive alcoholics, I am no stranger to uncertainty, fear, trauma, and suffering.
However, in retrospect, today I can see how my personal trauma, life adversity and eventual healing all happened for a reason and served two important roles. First, my healing journey served as an initiation into remembering who I am, moved me into alignment with my truth, which in turn led me to accept my true purpose and calling. I learned how to trust my intuitive gifts, skills, and abilities without question, which I had forsaken in my youth.
Secondly my healing journey served as my apprenticeship into becoming a shamanic practitioner and soul healer. I have always been highly intuitive and clairvoyant since birth, a gift we all have if we are willing to develop them. Over the past several decades I studied intensively, and continue to study and apprentice, under numerous shamans from numerous lineages, as well as with off planet spirit guides.
As would be expected, being the offspring of two alcoholics, I became an alcoholic myself. So, I understand the concept of substance abuse and addiction from an experiential, lived experience perspective. Suffice to say throughout my childhood and even adult life I had several near-death experiences (NDE’s), even after sobriety. As of this writing I have 18-years plus of sobriety and recovery.
Today, I know why my path required a battle with addiction and substance abuse. This lived experience serves me daily in my work with others struggling with substance abuse. Only an addict/ alcoholic can relate to another addict/ alcoholic’s story. My own battle with addiction, and eventual sobriety, became the catalyst for my work in the addiction field with numerous mental health and addiction recovery treatment centers.
During my final year of grad school, I was accepted a supposedly short-term gig to work with a VIP client in India. In my previous career I was considered a highly sought after fitness professional. Unbeknownst to me, this client had nefarious even evil intentions. His plan was to hold me hostage, brainwash me to be in servitude to him. In essence I became a hostage in a foreign country.
After two months of being a hostage and brainwashing I managed to trick my captures into releasing me under the false pretense their brainwashing tactics where successful and I would return after a short leave.
Obviously, I was elated the moment I arrived on U.S. soil. That was until I realized I had jumped from one frying pan to another. I was extremely sick when I returned with walking pneumonia. I couldn’t hold down food or water for months.
Eventually, I discovered the culprit was a combination of a deadly Superbug I contracted in India and the fact I had post-traumatic stress (PTS) from being a hostage for so long. I was effectively dying a slow and painful death both physiologically and psychologically.
Western medicine turned out to be worthless for both issues. Western doctors did not believe me when I told them I had a Superbug even after showing them all the clinical research studies. So, they proceeded to misdiagnose me and attempted to pump my body full of useless pills.
Western medicine is still quite primitive in many areas of health care, but especially in their understanding of post-traumatic stress (PTS). They often treat the wrong problem with the wrong therapeutic modality. As a last resort I turned inward, toward my shamanic healing abilities, and put my healing skills and my spirit team to the ultimate test.
Teach me how to heal myself or I will die. Interestingly, within a few short months I had moved through both issues and completely healed. My own personal healing solidified my trust and confidence in my own healing abilities and in spirit. Moreover, this experience launched me into the next stage of my career, working with veterans struggling with PTSD. This led to my co-authoring and leading a highly successful PTSD treatment program for veterans.
You would think my higher power, the universe, source, our creator, would have been satisfied with all the life-threatening issues I persevered, not to mention my development as a shamanic healer. I couldn’t have been farther from the truth.
I remember huddling in the kitchen, praying, with an elderly neighbor and my German Shepherd puppy, as the Woolsey fire engulfed my house in flames. The house rocked and shuddered like being hit by a major earthquake. We prepared to perish in the flames. It was just a matter of time before a window broke through from the heat and the fire engulfed us.
Suddenly the wind shifted away from my house, and the flames subsided, giving us just enough time run to a car and attempt a daring escape from sure death. I remember this moment like it was yesterday. It was surreal, like time and space had been suspended by some unseen force.
Within seconds, I ushered everyone into the only car not on fire. Astoundingly, despite all the smoke, the car started, and we embarked on a horrifying drive straight into the flames to escape.
I drove over downed powerlines, rocks, boulders, and tree branches. I couldn’t see more than a few feet in front of me the entire time. I knew if the car stalled, we were dead. So, I kept driving, the entire time asking spirit to guide us to safety. What seemed like an eternity ended with my totaled car limping past the police roadblock barriers to safety.
Our survival was a miracle plain and simple. There can be no other logical explanation. However, once again I found myself dealing with post-traumatic stress (PTS), but this time I knew how to move through the fire trauma and healed from this event in a few months.
What I Learned
I learned that spirit, source, or God is very real, and that miracles can and do happen every day. We rarely hear about them because the news media focuses almost exclusively on the negative, dark side of stories and humanity, because they draw higher ratings. Disturbingly, this says a lot about our societal values today.
My hope is that my life’s healing story, and my path in becoming a trauma therapist, shamanic soul healer can inspire others who may have experienced horrific and traumatic events.
We can all heal from adversity, but even importantly traumatic events, wounding, and adverse life challenges are also teachers. In fact, how we perceive trauma is everything.
The meaning we make from adversity, the stories we attach to them, and what we take away from traumatic events that is important. How we process traumatic events and experiences is directly proportional to whether we can move through and past adversity.
The lens we peer through either assists in letting go and moving on, or not. We can take our life back. Trauma has only as much power as we give it. Adverse life events help us develop resilience, courage, and strength for future life challenges.
I learned that nothing in life occurs by happenstance or coincidence. Everything happens exactly the way it was supposed to happen, in exactly the way it was supposed to happen, and that there is a reason why it happened
The truth is only revealed upon reflection. There is always something we can learn from trauma, despite the accompanied fear, pain, guilt, grief, and/ or loss. At the same time, I know there are some reading this who experienced extreme trauma. They may have been victimized by someone or several people, betrayed, rejected, or experienced the tragic loss of a family member or friends. They may vehemently disagree with my assertion, even incensed by such a claim.
Prior to making any judgement, I would just ask those individuals to ask themselves one question. If we cannot find a sense of meaning around traumatic events and adverse experiences, how can we move through them? The truth is we cannot.
Living in fear, shame, guilt, anger, bitterness or feeling less than, unworthy, unlovable, stuck or lost is not living at all. We must find meaning in our lived experiences otherwise our soul dies a slow death.
Nietzsche stated, “What doesn’t kill me, makes me stronger”. I believe adversity and challenges are an integral aspect of our life journey. We need sadness, despair, and defeat as a barometer for joy, harmony, and happiness. Meaning making from trauma and adverse life experiences is how we develop strength, perseverance, and resilience, so we can lead purposeful, fulfilling, and meaningful lives.
Healing is an alchemical process of moving through from one stage to another. We move from victimhood into survivorship, and then from survivorship into thriving. Healing itself is the process of realizing and embodying self-acceptance, self-forgiveness and finally self-love.
Our primary purpose in life is to learn how to give and receive love at the highest levels. If you disagree with this statement, ask yourself, what, other than love, can you bring with you into the spirit world? I look forward to being of service to you, and to help you attain freedom and wholeness.