The Myth of One and Done
When I lived in my little Victorian house in Portland, Oregon, the street was lined with ornamental cherry trees. They were so stunning when they bloomed! The whole street was aglow with pink blossoms, branches gently swaying on the breeze. After 7-10 days, they’d reach their peak, and they’d begin their decline. With a rain storm, or perhaps a windy day, the petals would begin to float down to the ground. They didn’t all fall from the tree in one day. Their release was not a one and done event. Rather, the tree would shed its blossoms over the course of several days. Following that, the pink petals on the street, grass and sidewalks would dry up and completely disappear. It was always such an amazing experience to observe the progression from bud to blossom, from falling petals to disappearance. What a powerful metaphor for healing and evolution!
Do you believe in miracles?
I actually do. I’ve seen a few over time. Raised a Christian Scientist, with a mother who was a Christian Science practitioner, I witnessed a few miraculous healings in my youth. As an adult, facilitating energy healing to clients for more than 30 years, I’ve seen some pretty extraordinary recoveries in my practice, too.
Honestly, the energy healing miracles haven’t typically been related to long-standing themes and behaviors, toxic relationship patterns, anxiety or depression, grief or rage. These are not one and done scenarios. Yet, people want to think of energy healing as the Hail Mary pass, the magic bullet.
My client practice is small by design, and there’s a waiting list for new clients to join. I often get appointment applications looking for the quick fix for a longstanding issue. One of the reasons I’m writing this post is to help educate the Hail Mary people who inquire about working with me. I can’t talk every single applicant off the one and done ledge, but I can share this post with them. Beyond that, I like to be a voice of reason in the energy healing field. There’s lots of New Age, rainbow and unicorn magical thinking in the field. I take this work seriously, and I attract people that want to separate fact from fiction to my school and practice. There are some really silly energy modalities that imply that something entrenched like childhood trauma can be unraveled with a poof and a wave of the hand. Awesome. Just not factual.
Here’s the thing:
Unraveling and releasing complex, longstanding issues such as trauma, self-hatred, anxiety, depression, abusive relationship patterns, victimization, perfectionism, caretaking and so many other patterns take time. And work. And self-observation. And accountability. And seeing your part. And letting go. And uncovering your hidden beliefs that hold patterns in place. And meeting and dissolving resistance. And inner work. And behavioral changes. Does any of this sound like one and done?
For most of us, miracles aren’t the process. Evolution is the way forward. Evolution is iterative. You let something go, and you make small changes. You let some more go, and you gain insights. This enables more release and increased potentiality, growth and change. And on it goes. This is what healing typically looks like.
Educating One and Done Hopefuls:
I teach energy healing practitioners to carefully design their client practices. I encourage them to educate clients about one and done magical thinking. I help them to frame the language on their website to speak to doing the work, to engaging in a process, to empowering the client with tools to support growth, healing, insight and evolution. I suggest that their language be very clear: the client needs to join the practitioner in the work, that the client is the healer, and the practitioner is a facilitator and guide to evolution.
It’s not about the story:
Often clients who want the one and done energy healing experience are quite attached to their story, the experiences that hold the pattern or issue in place. Do you know what derails evolution, growth, healing and change? You’ve got it. Attachment. Practitioners become facile at helping their clients to understand that the story points to the patterns, behaviors, tendencies, beliefs that are held in the energy field. The beauty of the energy system that EHI teaches is that the work is offered through neutrality, compassion and the absolute understanding that each one of us is a sovereign being. Each one of us is wholly and fully responsible for ourselves. Each one of us is the healer. This means that the client lets go of whatever they’re ready to release in an energy clearing session. Whatever is held in attachment will not come up for release. The practitioner invites the client’s energy to let go, and the work tends to happen in layers, iteratively with their energy field releasing both massive chunks and tiny tendrils. The decisions of what to release happens largely through the client’s unconscious awareness. The practitioner collaborates and dialogues with the client’s energy, working the patterns and themes, not the ‘story’. There’s no straining or pushing. Rather, the client’s energy moves into gentle surrender in collaboration with the practitioner, the energy practices, and the shared intention for the client to move beyond, let go and heal.
Energy Healing & Cherry Blossoms
By now, you’ve connected the dots to the story at the beginning of this post. Energy healing is like the cycle of the cherry blossoms. You’ll release what’s ready to go, and as you do so, you’ll shift incrementally, gradually, living your way into new behaviors, experiences, interactions and relationships.
To quote Maria Rainer Rilke in his letter to a young poet:
“I beg you… to have patience with
everything unresolved in your
heart and try to love the questions
themselves as if they were locked rooms or
books written in a very foreign language.
Don’t search for the answers, which could
not be given you now, because you would
not be able to live them.
And the point is, to live everything. Live the questions now.
Perhaps then, someday
far in the future, you will gradually, without
ever noticing it, live your way into the
3 thoughts on “The One & Done Energy Healing Myth”
This is a wise and beautiful post. “The client is the healer, and the practitioner is a facilitator and guide to evolution.” So, so true. There is no spiritual bypass. The way out is through. Change is personal and change takes time.
Hi Michele, thank you for your feedback; I’m glad this message resonates with you! There’s a New Age fallacy of miraculous shifts after 30 minutes of Reiki or other energy forms. It makes me sad, because for a healing shift to last, it has to reach the core of the issue. It’s often like peeling an onion. Each layer, the issue gets smaller, but it’s rarely a one-and-done!
Thank you for your feedback Michele. If only everyone understand that the healer lies within! ‘Healers’ would then hold an entirely different space for their clients, and clients would be empowered to own their evolution.