I’ve been thinking about how pleasure meets intense pain. Here’s what today looked like.
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So I’m lying here on my back, trying to navigate the incessant pain, the kind that presses and burns and shoots from one place to another. It doesn’t stay still, but there doesn’t seem to be a pattern to where it goes next. And through this all I’m aware that the only way that I’m going to manage it at all is by following what little wisps of pleasure are left in its wake. This means finding them first, the echoes of the absence of pain. And so I breathe in and breathe out and let the tension in my adductors go, willing my leg to relax, and I find an opening. But instead of immersing myself in that opening I put one foot there and try to make another opening. I will my quads to relax, I breathe into them. The pain is in the middle so I start instead at the knee. I breathe an opening into the muscle tissues, I breathe an opening up from the knee toward my hip and somewhere, for a moment, there’s a space. If I don’t think too hard, now I have two spaces, one on the inside of my thigh, and one on the top. I breathe into them both. With them both released, I feel the tugging in my groin, no longer balanced by the tension in my leg. Holding both openings with one piece of my mind, I press my thought into my groin and will that, too, to release. At this point it feels like a juggling exercise, trying to keep all of the openings open, and breathing, and allow the pain to fall away, that pain to which I’ve become so accustomed that it is almost like breathing itself. And with all of those held open, as I breathe and relax and breathe, the pain shifts to my hip and is more piercing and more solid there. I wonder briefly if I should take what I’ve got, or if I should continue pursuing the openings of pleasure. Some part of me wonders if I’m getting greedy. Another realizes that pain free is not unreasonable but I simply am not sure I can do it. These are the uncertainties that pain plants when I’m not paying attention. And so, holding my focus, I allow a small thread to lean and weave into my hip to create a crack in the ball of tension there, to open it up. I feel the pain try to return to my thighs as I do this, but I cannot panic now, so I breathe again and open the thigh again and then for a moment all is silent. The pleasure, for the moment, has won.
Nobody ever tells you
Hey, wake up wake up, this
Is the day you become a mage!
The magician school comes for you at noon!
It’s not like Harry Potter
No Hagrid no professors who turn into cats,
…well, not many
And they don’t carry mail.
Just messages that turn your head at dusk
The vague shadow of another world
Beckoning in the side mirror but
It Reflects nothing
Which is itself a message
So you start hunting in the corners
and leaving the lights off
Bathing in herbs that begged to be picked last summer and you didn’t know why
One day you find your voice,
Over dishes perhaps,
Or halfway from here to there
With advertisements for wrinkle cream blurring the lines of reality as you navigate traffic
The words pour forth
Or the paint,
And suddenly there you are
Casting spells on I-95
or handing a small packet to your darling but perennially sad co-worker with one word
It makes you feel a little like Alice (in wonderland) or
maybe the puppeteer behind wonderland,
did you ever wonder who put all those chess pieces there, anyway?
And now you’re doing it
Contributing to the mystery and absurdity of the world as you go around behind the powers that have been ceded to,
Trying to make magic that will balance the forces of light and darkness.
You find you have no illusions, there is an unseelie court
but fortunately they believe they are doing the right thing, too,
And are easily swayed by cookies
Although they work better if you sing over them while baking,
Calling sunbeams and flecks of hope to sprinkle on top.
And there comes a day finally when you realize
You have only sweatpants, witches clothes, and disguises,
And you don’t want anything else
That you come and go as you please
And that you have developed the habit of making magic everywhere.
You are a little eccentric and the constant
Use of power has rendered your hair untameable And probably grey
But you are indifferent because it suits you perfectly It makes you glow
And at long last you know you are using your power
What people don’t tell you about healing from trauma would fill a book, an encyclopedia, all the leaves of all the trees of Sherwood Forest, all the grains of sand in the Caribbean.
What people don’t tell you could scare you off from ever doing the work or it could make it seem like it might actually work.
What people don’t tell you
is that it will change you.
It will hurt sometimes, sometimes more than the trauma itself did,
the best metaphor is that you are breaking up scar tissue, rubbing and pressing and forcing and scrubbing your way through the very things that have held you together.
You will find a capacity to handle pain that you didn’t know you had.
Even if you knew you were really good at pain.
But this time you will be present with it, staring it down, dancing Kali’s dance of destruction and rebirth, standing on the hot coals until you can feel your feet beginning to burn.
And you will know this is the only way through and you will learn to say stop, that’s enough, that’s too much and you will learn when to say, okay, it hurts but okay, I’m going to be okay, let’s keep going, it’s going to be okay, breathing like lamaze class, like you’re birthing something much too big, which is, in fact true, because you are birthing the grown version of you and no one should ever have to birth themselves, but this time you will, and you do.
And sometimes it will be too easy.
Sometimes you will wake up and the thing you have been pushing against since you were twenty five or seventeen or twelve or three will just be gone, gone like it never existed, barely a ghost remaining to show you where it was, or not even a ghost and you will wonder if you dreamed it or made it up (no, you didn’t) and suddenly you will be tumbling full force into the void beyond the resistance, like you just ran off the edge of a cliff.
And you will feel betrayed by the very thing you were fighting against for so long, because at least you could count on it. It always kept you from falling. And it didn’t stop you from falling, this time.
And you will take a deep breath and dive back into the work because you want to know, you need to know, what do you stand on now?
It will ask you who are you without the trauma? And you will look, incredulous, and blink, as if they have just asked what happens when OPEC starts agitating for alternative fuel conversions and funding wind farms in small countries, and try for the first (and second and twenty second) time to imagine what in the world without the trauma even means.
And eventually you will imagine it, and that will be even more scary.
And then it will feel like a breath of fresh air, just about the time you discover that there’s a whole extra closet full of skeletons you didn’t know you were going to have to clean out.
It will change your body, it will make you gain and lose weight, turning that whole chrysalis-butterfly metaphor into reality as you wrap yourself up and peel the layers off, over and over again. Things you thought you liked to do will disappear and things you thought impossible will suddenly become your favorite way to wake yourself up too early. If you have always had a fear of swimming you will decide that open water distance freestyle at 5 AM is the only thing that makes you feel better. If you hate to exercise you will start, and if you live to run marathons you will become a couch potato. Or not.
Because there are definitely no rules for this. Everyone does it differently, everyone is different, and you will be different from moment to moment and day to day. Just as you get yourself figured out again you’ll go talk to your therapist or your best friend or your dog or the tallest trees in the woods near your house and something else will crack open and spill egg and ice cream all over the sidewalk where it will melt in place and you will not know what to do with yourself. Again.
Your music will change, your hair will change, if it was straight it will become curly, or curly will become straight. Your body chemistry, so exquisitely adjusted to constant adrenaline floods and cortisol overflows, will change radically. Your hormones, your sex drive, your physical sensations will change.
Your ability to think will change. If you have been concrete-linear, prepare to find your feelings more compelling than you ever thought they would be. If you have been a giant ball of emotion you might just discover that you have a little logic hiding in there somewhere.
Half the stuff you thought was you will turn out to be how you protected yourself and like a marionette whose strings have been cut, you will spend some time very, very limp, in a puddle, on the floor, while you figure out what happens when you don’t have to protect yourself from yourself or from anyone else anymore, not like that.
You will see other people differently. You will see triggers as triggers. You will develop a self-protectiveness and a compassion that looks and feels totally different from before. You will gently tell people that you can see that they are hurting and then you will not do anything about it, because you will know that no one could fix yours and no one can fix theirs, either. Ironically, you will be more willing to trust that people love you.
You will become a better judge of people.
You will judge people less.
You will see your flaws more clearly, but they will feel like less of a disaster. In fact, you might even begin to think your flaws are kind of cute. This makes other people’s flaws infinitely easier to embrace, which makes the world suddenly much more full of beautiful, interesting people who were certainly not there last year. Where did they all come from, anyway?
And all this means that the years of self-love work you have already done will kick into Advanced mode, that things you did by rote and discipline will become easier, but not before they kick your ass one more time for good measure. All the wrestling begins to feel like horseplay with a fallen angel who is an old friend instead of a life-threatening crisis.
Because it has changed you. You are changed. You are different.
And one day you realize how much of this you’ve done, and how much it made possible, and you sit down and cry, great gulping tears of gratitude and grief and more gratitude for all the beauty and all the stuff that is, praise be, finally DONE, so done it is solid enough to stand on. And you find your feet hold you up after all. And you know you have more to walk. And that, at long last, is going to be okay, probably mostly almost certainly.
When I pray this is how I pray
Hands clasped before me on my pillow
Curled on my side
Before the day has breached the raw and sleepy ramparts
Here where the call to prayer is too loud to be overrun by lists or fears
Of not enough, not good enough,
Of being devoted to a thing that does not exist
Hope or something
And might not care
Love or something
And might not be able to change my world
Without my unlikely and awkward assistance
Because I have hands and it does not.
Before any of that can creep in
While my brain is still soft and muzzy
I pray without thinking just pray without asking
I pray with the quiet wings of birds and angels
That I, too,
I’m part of a lot of organizations. That happens when you’re committed to the power of community. You get into communities for business, communities for health and wellness, communities for personal growth, communities for healing, communities for recreation. The communities I’m part of all love commitment. They think it’s awesome. Some of them have it in the rules, about committing, and some of them don’t. But the idea is that you’re here and you’re not going away.
You know, like family.
Except that one time.
And that uncle.
And when I look around at all those communities, the ones stuffed full of amazing and beautiful and wise people, they have something in common. Whether it’s in the rules or not, a lot of people take time away.
I’m one of those people, when I join up I always think, “I’ll never do that. I’m going to be in this for good, for life, for ever. I won’t need a break.” And for whatever reason, I have incredible staying power. I don’t usually need a break. I can withstand a lot of things and still keep my seat.
But even then, sometimes I’m better when I take a break. I have more resources. I have more grace. I say fewer things I regret later. I have better ideas.
And then I was listening to this Abraham-Hicks recording this morning ) , where she says, “Stop beating the drum of the problem…the solution cannot come when you are beating the drum of the problem….”
And I thought, wait. What if this is what happens when we get into a community where we believe a problem lasts forever and we keep beating the drum of that problem?
What if our continued focus on the problem keeps us from moving forward?
And what if the only way out of that trap is to allow time away?
What if we need to step away so we can learn to focus on something else, so we can really allow the wound to heal? And what if, once healed, we can come back, healed, with a perspective that looks beyond the problem that brought us through the doors? What if this is how we find the path forward?
What if we need time away? What if as leaders, as elders, as family members, as just PEOPLE we all need our rumspringa, our time to step outside the context of our usual frame? What if that stepping away lets us focus on being more whole?
What if that is the way to bring wholeness to the group?
PS: if you’re thinking of some community you’re a part of and your first reaction is to say OH NO! WE CAN’T DO THAT! I ask you to breathe and really LOOK at the leaders, and ask yourself if any of them have taken sabbaticals. And then ask yourself how insular or wide-reaching the group is. And I don’t do flame wars.
If the Law of Attraction works, why are people still homeless?
That’s the gist of a question posed to me recently. I think it’s an important question. Why? The basic idea of the law of attraction is that your energy and beliefs and behaviors create and/or attract what happens in your life. Believe in prosperity and it comes. Believe in poverty and it comes. Believe in your health and you’ll be healthy. You can see how this becomes problematic, because, misinterpreted, the LOA could be construed to mean that everyone who has something bad happen to them must have attracted it, must have somehow wanted it, must have caused it. It makes the individual into their own omnipotent-model god. (Not all gods are omnipotent in all theologies, void where prohibited, not available in all states.)
I have a few problems with this.
One, hello victim blaming. This is the spiritual equivalent of, “If you didn’t dress so provocatively you wouldn’t have been raped.”
Wrong, wrong, wrong.
Two, this is incompatible with my version of the power that moves in the world, which I experience as benevolent by association. I don’t think the power itself knows (or cares) but the humans who interact with it give it moral leaning and force. That world doesn’t make people sick or make people suffer on purpose. That’s just not my theology (yours may vary). Mine is a theology of beneficence and pleasure, wrought primarily through human nature.
Three, we are part of a giant interactive system; you are not the only being in the universe. This is the biggest, most key part of my answer. There are other forces at work, things other than the law of attraction, and also competing needs and forces, not all of which are nice, and not all of which are good for you even if they are objectively morally neutral or morally good. In with Law of Attraction we have politics and capitalism and fear and uncertainty and the industrial revolution’s cultural backwash. We have seasons and bad decision making and while none of that negates what the law of attraction may be doing, it also doesn’t make it smooth sailing. NO proposition of attraction proceeds in a vacuum. It’s all about context. And in that context the things that lead to bad stuff (including homelessness in a country where we have enough vacant houses to give each homeless person six) are sometimes overwhelming. Love wins in the end, but the path between here and the end isn’t always easy. Or, said another way (stolen from a Facebook meme), “When one door closes another one opens, but these hallways are hell.”
We’ll get there. LOA is part of my toolkit but definitely not all of it. Everything else exists too, and we need to play in a complete context. It’s a big world out here.
Can you get better too fast?
Not really. Ask anyone in pain how much longer they’d like to hurt, given a choice.
There’s this thing.
When you are sick for a long time (I’ve had depression for decades) and then the fog starts to lift, it leaves you with a bit of a dilemma. You don’t know that at first. At first you’re all,
WOOOHOOOOOOOO!!!!!! I’m FREEEEEE! (picture me running around in circles on the lawn, flapping my arms.)
Because holy shit, the transformation is incredible. My brain started functioning again after years of scraping by. I didn’t even know I WAS scraping by. I knew I was mildly muted by my depression, but holy hell.
At first, between homeopathic treatments, I had one, glorious, clear-brained day. It was like the sun coming out after a Seattle winter. I had energy. I wanted to run a thousand miles. I had ideas, and plans, and I got ALL THE THINGS done. I was fucking superman.
Not every day has been like that, but I’m having more of them. And I had NO IDEA how much the depression was hampering my ability…even just my ability to THINK. It was amazing to emerge from the equivalent of pea soup fog and chest-crushing oxygen deprivation to run along the ocean in the sun.
But about a week later, I had a thought. It went like this:
Who am I without depression?
It stopped me in my tracks. As long as I have been forming an adult identity, depression, or the spectre of its return, has been part of my identity. I’ve been Person (With Depression) or Depressed Person or Person (Trying To Be Happy) or Person (Probably Happy For The Moment).
The idea that I might have found a combination of treatments and experiences (homeopathy, hypnosis, etc) that had the potential to change my brain structure such that I might no longer be as vulnerable to depression, and that adding therapy, diet, exercise, reiki, touch immersion, extra sleep, creativity, etc would only enhance my quality of (not depressed!) life…stunned me.
If I am not depressed, I thought, can I just make plans and assume I’ll be functional? Can I exert myself and only run the risk of sleeping well that night? What have I assumed was not possible for me, that is actually possible? What is my identity without the sisyphean overlay?
Who am I when I am not pushing that boulder up the mountain all the time?
Ordinarily, if you’re getting treatment under the old models, you change slowly. It’s like walking to your destination. You have time to adjust to the idea of being in the new place, and your body keeps pace with your brain.
Now, though, we can literally fix it in an hour, sometimes. Certainly we can create dramatic change in the time it takes to cook and eat a single meal. When you get there that fast, there’s a transitional period. Most people will resist, be disoriented, try old things and find they no longer fit. Most people will need time to adjust, even though the problem is actually gone right away.
that’s ok, we just need to know that. We just need to give ourselves time and space for that. We need to grow into the new version of ourselves. And we need to give people around us that kind of slack as well. We’ll get there, we promise. But first, we need to breathe.
WANT TO HEAR MORE? I’m doing a call with Marcia Baczynski, called Embodiment for Brainiacs, about how intuition and energy make sense in a geeky, logic-oriented context. Join us!
As I said recently, I’m a geek. And I tend to run experiments on myself, which is a time-honored tradition among psych researchers (and others; see also: hemlock).
Recently I’ve been making seven-league-boot levels of progress in therapy and related places. Why? Because a whole bunch of techniques are gaining legitimacy and visibility, and they are much faster and more efficient than the old methods. As one researcher said on a recent webinar about neurofeedback, “We used to have to go through the mind to get to the brain. Now we can go directly to the brain.”
Most of the research and techniques that are emerging relate directly to trauma treatments. Some, like hypnosis, have been around for a while but are becoming more accepted. Some, like neurofeedback, have been in development for a while but are just coming to a useful maturity. All of them have varying results, because the people who are the subjects vary, but the conclusion is that they are worth trying.
One of the things that makes psych research different from other fields is that even the industry standard treatments, like antidepressants, are a best-guess-shot-in-the-dark that don’t work for everyone, and don’t have the same effect on everyone for whom they do work. If you go to your psychiatrist and decide that you should be on antidepressants, you could well spend months testing drugs on yourself–get a PGT test to see if anything is clearly not going to work, and then take one, see how you do, if it works, great, but if it doesn’t then titrate back off of it and try another one, lather-rinse-repeat until you find something that really helps…and hope you don’t build a tolerance or develop an adverse reaction.
I can tell you from personal experience: doing this while depressed is one of the most exhausting things ever, especially since side effects can include things like lethargy and low sex drive, and sometimes you get all the side effects with none of the benefits.
Why does this matter? Because with statistics like the ones for Zoloft and Wellbutrin, the odds of effectiveness for hypnosis or neurofeedback or homeopathy suddenly look downright gorgeous, and with the timeline for standard meds involving weeks of titration up and down, it might even make sense to try the alternative treatments first.
I was staring down the barrel of traditional antidepressant treatment recently. It seemed like nothing was going to work. Then I saw a naturopath and started homeopathic treatment. Changed. My. Life. Your mileage will vary, so be careful. This is just my experience.
Time to adjust to a homeopathic treatment: typically 1 week. Time to antidote if it’s having an adverse effect: in me, 4 hours.
Time to full effectiveness of hypnosis: varies, as fast as right away, as long as several months. Time to reverse the effect: almost immediately, usually.
Cost for any of these treatments: usually about $150/hour, more for neurofeedback, less for others. Cost of homeopathic remedies: varies, but generally under $30 for a one-month dose.
If it doesn’t work, you can still try the pills.
But paying attention to how your body feels you can often get faster and more effective treatment without using anything from Big Pharma at all.
nota bene: 1) I am not a doctor. Do not take any of this as medical advice, because it isn’t. 2) don’t change your treatments without consulting with the appropriate professional. That would not be me. 3) there is a place for traditional antidepressants. for those for whom they are the right treatment, they are literally a lifesaver. But if that isn’t feeling like the right solution for you, you have some other options. 4) alas, insurance doesn’t cover most of this
NEXT TIME: I will talk about what happens when you suddenly fix what’s wrong with you after years of having a problem.
WANT MORE? Marcia Baczynski and I are doing a call, Embodiment for Brainiacs, on November 1st. We’re going to jam about bodies and intuition and gut feelings and how that all fits in our geeky and logical brains. Sign up here.
This post is the second in a series about geeky mysticism. The first post is here.
You’ve probably heard the story about the starfish-throwing little kid, who is busy throwing stranded starfish into the sea. An adult comes along and says, “There are so many starfish on the beach! Why bother? How can you possibly make a difference?” And the kid bends over to throw another starfish and says, “It made a difference to that one.”
That’s how I think about all the tools in my toolkit. It only has to make a difference to one person to be worth learning, investigating, and keeping around. This is how I figure that out.
Traditional scientific method has a series of steps. You probably remember them from 5th grade science class: you write down what you think is true or what you’re going to test. Then you write down what you plan to do to test it. You make a list of your materials. You do the experiment and make notes about what actually happens and any new thoughts or changes you needed to make. And then you write your conclusion. In the real world, 98% of conclusions seem to be, “Well look, there’s some stuff we didn’t anticipate that merits further study.”
Then they redesign and run the experiment again.
And in the world of pharmaceuticals and medical study and other things that deal with people and not, say, chemicals or rocks, there’s this thing called a controlled double-blind study.
What that means is that you have a group of people who don’t get the treatment you’re testing, to see what would happen if you did nothing. And no one, not the researchers or the participants, knows which participants aren’t getting the treatment and which ones are. So, for example, if you’re testing a new medicine for depression, half the people get pills that will not chemically interact with the body and half the people get the medicine, but the researchers don’t know who is who until they start analyzing the data.
And then they look for what they call a statistically significant result. They’re looking to see that a more-than-random number of people (usually above 5%) had a result.
But my world is a little different.
Because all experience is data, and people vary.
And magic and energy work and prayer are all basically the same thing, the effects of which have been investigated (both well and badly) for thousands of years across all or nearly all cultures.
So what that means is that if it works for one person, I’m interested. I don’t need 500 people in my study, and I don’t care if it’s double blind, especially since the focus and energy of the person matters so much. Your belief matters when it comes to magic.
Here’s where my process deviates really really far from standard scientific process. Because most scientists don’t usually act like a result matters unless they saw a lot of the same result. Fifty percent of study participants, or seventy-five. Five percent barely meets the test for statistically significant. Below statistically significant it might not have happened at all. It might be a mathematical error. Now the issue of how a recorded data point can become a mathematical error (and therefore nonexistent) aside, in my world if something works for me, even if it’s just for me, even if I only tried it twice, it goes on the list of things that work for me, and the result is real.
It means that one time that reiki helped my cramps was enough for me.
It means that one month when I kept pulling the same tarot cards was enough for me.
I share my experience and I make no promises. But testing doesn’t have to be a giant formal study, because if it works for me, I will use it regardless of whether it works for other people, and I will tell people about that, and invite them to run their own experiments. I don’t care if I’m in a small population that’s a fraction of 1 percent. What I care about is whether I have seen results. And I encourage all the people around me to do the same.
Want to find out what kinds of stuff I do, and why I do it? Join Marcia and me on Embodiment for Brainiacs, Nov 1, from anywhere! Sign up here: embodiment-for-brainiacs
I’ve hinted about this before, here and there: I’m a critical-thinking, logic-oriented intuitive mystic who believes in magic. In other words, I’m a geek and a mystic and a mage. This makes some of my friends crazy (thank goodness they love me anyway!) because for them, geek and mystic are mutually exclusive–you can’t be one if you’re the other. Mysticism and intuition and magic are the realm of religion and imagination, and geekery and science are the realm of logic and fact and never the twain shall meet.
I used to believe that. My father is an engineer, my mother is a mathematician, my brother is a computer engineer and scientist with a specialty in artificial intelligence, and my best friend from childhood is a seismic geologist. And don’t get me wrong, I have great respect and admiration for science, its learnings and processes, and the gains we’ve made from them. But I’m also mindful of two important principles: people vary (expressed so succinctly by Havi Brooks over at fluentself.com) and all experience is data (for the grammar mavens: all experiences are data.)
What makes a geek get into energy work and take magic from the fantasy books to the real world?
When I have an experience that supports something I was previously skeptical about, I have to rethink it. That’s the geeky scientist child-of-an-engineer in me. When I was SURE there was no higher power, and then I started to have the felt experience of connection to earth and trees and water…I started to pay attention.
And now there’s research showing that plants are aware when they’re being eaten (http://www.wnd.com/2014/10/study-plants-can-tell-when-theyre-being-eaten/). There are kinds of awareness that we don’t know about yet; things we’re still learning. Since my sense of a higher power involves a kind of interconnection of awareness of all things, this supports my experience.
When I was highly skeptical about reiki, I had really bad menstrual cramps that nothing but reiki would help. So I got trained and then I felt the energy in myself. I had to rethink my skepticism. When I don’t think something is hot, and then I put my hand on it and I experience it as hot, I don’t wonder if my experience is real. I pull my hand away to avoid being burned. To me, these experiences are as real as that one.
My most recent experiment has been one of the most surprising for me. Despite all this, I was still very resistant to things like tarot. It seemed too far from my experience, too close to the edge of impossible.
But I kept thinking about it. So finally I bought myself a deck and started drawing cards every day.
There are 78 cards in a standard tarot deck. Drawing three to five cards a day and very careful about being random, over the first month I drew about 12 cards over and over and over, and when they changed, they progressed in a logical manner based on the card meanings. (From the 8 of swords to the 9 and then the 10, for example.)
There may be an explanation for this, but I can’t think of one.
I don’t have to be an expert in calculus or statistics to know that that’s highly unlikely to happen randomly.
I don’t think everything works for everybody. But I do thing my experiences are influencing my thinking and my future choices. That’s how science works. More on that next time
PS: Embodiment for Brainiacs! Marcia and I are going to hang out and jam on how we make intuition go with geekery. We’re both geeks with a huge body component to our work, and we’re going to talk about how exactly that makes sense. Signup page here: embodiment for brainiacs.
Who am I?
My name is Leela Sinha. I’m trained right across the board. My first job after college was in computer tech support. I’ve also taken a boatload of programming classes. I have a BA in American Studies and an M. Div. (Masters of Divinity) and ordination AND coaching training from CTI and sex ed training through the UUA and and a massage therapy license. Biology and theology and the neuroscience of change and pleasure…I am a huge believer in research and learning and study. And I’ve got my Level III reiki (Shinpiden) training and training in energy clearing.