When I first felt inspired to put my curriculum in written format, I wasn’t sure it was possible. Could Energy Awareness Tools be taught in this way? To my knowledge no one had ever attempted it. Oh yes, I’ve seen many books with explanations of energy, and energy work, but to do one that is itself the curriculum, that as you read teaches Centering and Grounding – that I had never seen and was not sure it could be done. Yet I continually felt inspired to do it, so I approached the issue (as I usually do) by sitting with it and letting my meditation answer the question. Again and again, I got a clear yes to doing it this way.
When part of the curriculum was done, I selected some friends and clients to be my first readers. I had a set of very specific questions for them to answer that would allow me to assess if they were indeed able to learn Centering in this way. Again the answer was a clear yes. I was thrilled, and my reader feedback allowed me to understand that reading and practising Centering – while challenging – provides its own unique and excellent practise space. Also, because reading is quite intimate, there is the potential for a deeper connection with the material than what could be achieved through an audio-only version. Additionally, reading is very active; you are more present, and there is less chance of drifting off, which can happen more easily with audio versions. Finally, I was keen to create something that could be a tool to help people Center and Ground that didn’t rely on being connected to a device. I truly believe we all need some time away from technology. I was so happy to discover it worked! That’s all I wanted, to create a book of my curriculum that I’ve been teaching for the past fifteen years, in a way that is accessible and useful.
Having a clear method that teaches presence and consciousness is essential. I’ve always been amazed by the origin stories of great teachers like Eckhart Tolle and Byron Katie. I love and respect their work immensely, but both tell a similar story that they woke up enlightened one day and stayed that way. This sounds wonderful, but my journey has been very different. I’d say I was more like the person asleep with the eye mask on in a dark room with blackout curtains. I couldn’t have had the light come in quickly; it would have been too painful. For me the awakening has been more like having a dimmer switch that has been turned up ever so slightly. Very slowly I’ve awakened to Essence and being Self, and coming from a background of serious child abuse and trauma that was just what I needed. I couldn’t have done it without the many wonderful and patient teachers along the way, and a clear method for practise.
It reminds me of when I first began learning to sing. Because I was totally tone deaf, the first few teachers I saw (who themselves were natural singers) didn’t know what to do with me. I don’t think they understood why I couldn’t hear myself. One teacher after hearing me sing said, ‘Can’t you hear how out of tune you are?’ I shook my head no. I genuinely couldn’t hear my own voice, so there was no way for me to learn in the usual way of copying the teacher and doing scales. Over time I got to the point where I wouldn’t open my mouth because I knew I sounded terrible (based on the reactions of others), but I didn’t have a way to practise anything different. Finally I met a singing teacher who had also been told when she was young that she couldn’t sing but became a professional singer with a beautiful voice. She was the first person who seemed to understand where I was coming from. I had so much fear over singing that she didn’t start with the usual notes or scales. Instead, we started with making animal sounds, something I was comfortable doing because it clearly wasn’t singing. She cleverly used owl sounds to have me find different tones, moving up and down the scale without my even knowing it. That’s all it took to remove the fear and begin dissolving whatever blocks I’d created because I still remember the day I was singing to myself, and thought, Wow, I’m terrible! I laughed out loud. I was so excited because I knew it meant I could hear myself, and it was the beginning of being able to learn. Oh, I’ll never become a great or even a good singer, but I can sing along now, and that’s all I wanted.
For me this Energy Awareness work is very similar. I was totally out of alignment with Self when I began. Luckily I found a method that was effective and a teacher patient enough to see me through the early challenges of peeking out under the eye- mask, squinting in the sun, and working through the shock of hearing and seeing how ‘out of tune’ I was.
It’s essential to find a method that can help you practise new states of being, one that allows you to safely uncover old belief patterns and limiting messages, and gives you a way to transform them. If you’re using meditation only for relaxation, you’re missing the real fruit of what it has to offer, just the same as if you use yoga only to stretch, or eat food only for pleasure. One of my guitar teachers early on had me play
something so he could assess what level I was at; I played a tune I knew I could play well, and he was suitably impressed. The next week he asked me to play what I’d been working on, and I repeated the same song. He said, ‘Playing something you already know isn’t practising; it’s performing. You need to be stretching yourself to learn new things.’ He was so right. I wanted to keep things safe, but you can’t learn new music that way. You can’t live that way, either – staying in the safe zone won’t help you progress and will only limit your experiences. You need a practice that will help you open to the places that aren’t comfortable, that can let the light in with ease, and in a way that is healing and supportive for you.