Requisite Shamanic Mindset: Humility before the Facts

This challenge probably comes up with all manner of energetic or alternative healers, not just the more methodically trained shamans. We always have to remind ourselves of a few fundamental observations:

  1. Ours are not the only methods or procedures which work. A patient may be helped by herbal, homeopathic (and many of us are quite accomplished in these), chiropractic, osteopathic, or allopathic approaches.
  2. When we try to help someone and it does not work, we do not need to just label it as a mental, emotional, or spiritual “block” to the procedure or protocol that we did’s working. Rather, we should acknowledge that, like any other discipline, we cannot provide the working best response for every health or life challenge. I’m actually quite pleased with the wide variety of conditions with which we can help, but there is a legitimate role for all the other disciplines as well. Sometimes, surgery is actually necessary. Sometimes a prescription medication is not a bad choice for managing a condition, although hopefully, the plan is to move beyond managing symptoms now toward an future resolution or cure.
  3. We must always be humble before the facts. The symptoms of the body, the measured elements, fluids, and testable aspects of the patient’s conditon(s) should be noted and incorporated into whatever we consider helping them with. It is not just on our part that this must happen. I had a patient here last week who complained of “stomach pains” and said that she’d been examined and given Prilosec and then a stronger prescription for it but that a diagnosis had not been finalized. I had told her that I intuited a lesion on dorsal lining of stomach and sought to close this. What she did not tell me until 6 months later was that she had an endoscopy done two weeks after my intervention and it was reported that a minor spot of irritation was visible there, but appeared to have “healed itself.” This feedback would have been useful, as we always need to try to corroborate what we do with not just the patients’ reported experience but with any testing. imaging, or viewing which confirms or denies our efforts. That way we can always correct toward better outcomes. So we need to pay attention to that information and they need to share it for us to be of optimal service to those with whom we meet.
  4. We must, as authentic, honest healers, know when to say to a patient that the matter which they present is best served by another discipline, another resource, rather than just scrambling to fill our calendars with more appointments. This means the personal humility to say, e.g., “I don’t work with gum infections. Please check with your dentist or oral surgeon to pursue this. It’s just not in my scope of expertise.” I use this as an example, but there are always some areas which a given practitioner does not handle and it is best to state this as soon as that scope of work emerges so that the patient can seek what she or she needs elsewhere. 

A further note on the second paragraph might be in order. This is a tendency that I have observed in the New Age or “alternative” community for decades: “blame the victim.” It’s a really easy way to avoid any responsibility to help whatever this issue may be. 

I have seen it where a person says that he keeps having trouble finding an employer who appreciates his output and values his professional opinions as to how to do machine designs (thinking here of small ‘fab shops” that serve heavy industry with retrofits or revisions to capital tools or production facilities). I actually heard a “healer” tell a colleague, when he went ot a New Age fair with me that he obviously had poor self image and that his presentations lacked self-confidence and that was why he did not feel heard in meetings. She knew NOTHING about this guy and he was nothing like the description. His Numerology personal ‘numbers’ just told her that he was in the wrong field.and that this was the issue. Blame the victim rather than hearing him or her- great way to discharge the case without really working on it. This is an example of not being humble before the facts of his working life, which she had neglected to even gather.

In addition to an imaginary “block” on part of the client (which, of course, additional $e$$ions might allow you to dissolve) another common dodge to just admitting that you have not been trained in a particular area or application or that the client or patient would be better served elsewhere is to say that it must just be a result of something from a past life or the person;’s genes.

For the larger society in which we work to accept the validity of our practice, we must clean our house. We must admit what we do not know, be willing to learn (yes, especially form our clients or patients) and be willing to research and come up with a solution, not charge for our time if it does not work, and be willing to refer them to other resrouces if that’s in their best interests. We must earn the respect of the public and of other disciplines through being ethical and self-critical. Then we shamanic healers can make our best contribution to the greater good of all.

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