I am a proponent of energy healing. It has helped me in many ways throughout my life and I am grateful for every healer who has impacted me. Energy healing has provided incredible insight into my anxieties I have had over the years and it has been a wonderful support for me. But, with that said, I recently came to the realization that I have been using my energy healing as a crutch and that I had become dependent on it. I was not actually doing the difficult work myself and I was relying on energy healing to fix various issues for me. That realization was a rude awakening, but it was also something that definitely needed to happen.
For my birthday this past May, I was on vacation in Mexico. It was supposed to be a reprieve from the stress of my crazy work schedule and everyday life. I was looking forward to lying on the beach, disconnecting from social media and spending some quality time on me. I envisioned myself totally relaxing for the week and coming back a refreshed woman: ready to take on more tasks. It is funny how expectations can work, isn’t it? One of the first nights of the trip, I was trying to fall asleep and I simply could not. At first, I thought the sleeplessness would pass. But after hours of lying awake, I began trying various tactics to calm my busy mind. I did a meditation, a breathing exercise, averted my attention to a book, and even reverted to my earliest days of mindfulness practice and envisioned the ball of light traveling from the bottom of my feet to the top of my head. Nothing worked and I ended up lying awake for the entire night in a panic. I realized that disconnecting from my work was not helping me relax – on the contrary, it was making me even more stressed.
What I thought would be one restless night in Cabo turned out to be just the beginning of some serious stress-related sleep issues. When I came back from the “vacation,” I immediately jumped back into work. I was in hyper stress mode and even got vertigo because of it. In the back of my mind, I was constantly thinking, “Well, this project will be finished soon, so if I can just get through it, my sleeping patterns will return to normal.” Or, “If I can just gain this many Instagram followers” or “If I book this impressive speaking engagement” my stress levels would diminish. I could not have been more wrong. I did not realize that I was trapped in an endless cycle of work. Every time I achieved one goal, I would create another steeper one for myself. I was in a never-ending hamster wheel of stress and had no idea how to overcome it.
This was nothing new to me. I have had anxiety since childhood and have used practically every method in the book to manage it: therapy, yoga, massage, supplements, food, you name it. I know it sounds funny coming from someone who helps people for a living, but I have always looked to some outside resource to help me. I think that it is human nature to want to find a quick solution, and that, for me, has always been energy healers. I reached out to shamans and spiritual teachers who performed energy clearings and entity removals, acupressure, acupuncture, hypnotherapy, EFT, reiki, etc. I used Dr. Sadeghi’s exercise of writing for 12 minutes and then burning the paper with my thoughts scratched onto it as a mode of release. I even experimented with mushrooms and ayahuasca – I was willing to try anything to help rid me of these sleep issues and anxiety. But, I realized I was relying on all of these Band-Aids instead of actually doing the work myself. As soon as I felt the panic coming on, I would reach out to someone else. I was turning to those quick solutions to make my issues go away instead of practicing all of the tools I have been taught throughout my life. I was stuck in this useless pattern for about six full months.
The only thing (out of the countless methods I tried) that shifted this insane phase of my life was when I pulled back, got quiet, tuned into myself and did not turn to outside sources to fully guide me. I finally realized it was time to do this work on my own. What came next was really interesting for me. I legitimately got down on my knees as if I were praying (which is not something I typically do) and I let out a good cry. I sobbed, to be honest. It was as if I had held everything in from those last six months (or years) deep within me and I finally allowed myself to let it all pour out. It was so freeing. After that, I made some changes in my life. I forced myself to say ‘no’ more often. I pushed myself out of the hamster wheel and took various items off of my plate, no matter how badly I thought I ‘needed’ to work on them. The way my brain works is that I think if I work on something, I can fix it immediately. But from this experience, I learned that is not always the case. I needed to have patience with myself and faith that I could overcome it and that no matter what everything was going to be ok.
I am now finally starting to see the light at the end of the tunnel. Writing about my experience is not all positive for me. In some ways, I feel as though I am exposed. It feels very vulnerable and even embarrassing. But on the positive side, some things that would normally have bothered me are not. I have been forced to go more with the flow. If my expectations about something are not met, then I am realizing that is okay. I have also become much more present in my everyday life. Prior to this experience, I used to move so fast that I was almost on autopilot, never taking the time to soak in any of the day’s beautiful moments. I am now able to slow down and focus on some of the things that really matter, which I thought I did not have time for before.
For anyone experiencing a similar crisis, please know that tuning in to yourself is crucial. We are afraid to do that because we do not want to miss out on anything – whether it is work-related or not. Instead of taking tiny bits of time to meditate here and there, you need to focus a significant amount of time on yourself, especially when you are in a time of severe stress. Meditating regularly for two weeks is not a permanent solution, even if it seems like it is helping temporarily. Have faith in yourself because you most likely have all of the answers somewhere inside of you. I know this phrase is super corny, but it is so applicable to me right now: the universe has your back. Do not forget that. I know I was supposed to go through this and you will probably gain wisdom from whatever you are experiencing right now too. Know that everything will be okay in the end. Have patience. I cannot stress this enough. Recognize when you are caught in the endless work cycle and accept the fact that it is never going to end, so you need to learn how to manage it in a healthy way. Finally, use your energy healing resources as support instead of relying on them to fix your issues. Only you can do that.
Now, to keep all of this in action is another story. It is an honest constant battle for me not to go back to my old ways. In fact, it is harder than I could ever have imagined. But I am working on it every single day – every single hour, really. And I will continue to work at this because I know it is what is best for me.