The day I made a choice that changed my life …
How I Got This Gift
I tell you this story … because it might make you curious about what else is possible.
I am a mind-body healer and educator. I do work in-person and remotely – with you, over distance. I didn’t used to be.
I have an academic and a prior work background in science, engineering and business.
This is my story of how everything changed one day, and my curiosity led me on a journey of discovery that taught me things that were true … even if no one would believe me.
I re-read this periodically, to remember the choice I made that changed my life.
In 1998, I began what I call a personal renaissance.
It started with a walk around Lake Merritt in Oakland, California, where I lived. I had pursued many degrees and certificates; I had held a lot of jobs others admired and desired; I had an easy life of love and comfort; I’d studied yoga and meditation; and yet I felt something was really missing. Real happiness seemed elusive. I had a great relationship since 1987 (which I still have to date). I could rise to and enjoy any challenge, but I just wasn’t having much joy in what I was doing – the shoe never quite seemed to fit.
I was at wit’s end that day I walked around Lake Merritt. I said in my head (to the Universe, I now know), “If I don’t find what I’m supposed to do, I don’t know what I’ll do.” I said it over and over. I knew I wouldn’t kill myself, but I would be a hell of a lot easier just not to exist. There had to be more.
I wasn’t depressed; I was frustrated. I’m a fighter for joy and true happiness, something the short-lived life of my little brother instilled in me early on.
What happened a few weeks later that summer changed my world forever.
I met a man named Bill Sengel in a bookstore in the Old Port in Portland, Maine, while on holiday at my grandmother’s house. I’d missed the beginning of a movie I’d driven 40 minutes to see, and curiously wandered into a metaphysical bookstore to kill time until the next movie.
I was open-minded. Instead of paying $2 for the Nickelodeon matinee that fateful day, I paid $60 to get something called a chakra analysis. I’d heard of chakras, but had no idea what a chakra analysis was.
Crammed in between dusty stacks of books and paperwork in the back office of a 19th century brick building, Bill divined that I was actually a teacher and healer with psychic gifts. He said I would meet my teacher and have a long relationship. Sounded good and also totally foreign to me. I had no idea how I would get there from my current life as a businessy, sciencey type.
Then he told me that he needed to do something to me, because otherwise I’d get sick. Funny, I said. I’d been getting sicker and sicker for six years.
Bill sat across from me in a chair and put a copper triangle with beads and Sodalite rocks in each of my palms. He put his knees on the outside of mine, and then his hands on top of my palms. I felt like a curious kid, up for anything.
What happened next is so visual and sensory, no words can describe.
Indeed, Bill asked me to tell him what was happening, but I was frozen, as though my whole being had become steel and I could just observe. I couldn’t talk, but I was fully aware and in observation as lightening bolts of all colors shot through my body, seemingly turning something on and cleaning me out at the same time. I saw the electrical grid of how energy flows in my body, much like the old commercials of energy running through a circuit board.
It was intense, heavy, and I was totally fascinated. My academic background was in how energy moved through solid state. But nothing had ever happened to me like that, or so I thought at the time.
When it was over and I could talk and describe my experience, Bill’s eyes filled with excitement. He told me that I would probably start crying in 2-3 days, but not to worry, just to let it all flow out. And he handed me his card, in case I needed it.
Two days later, while driving with my father, grandmother, and sister down the dirt road to my grandmother’s house, tears suddenly poured down my cheeks, just as Bill predicted. I had no emotion whatsoever, but could not stop them from coming. I turned my head to look out the window and covered my face so no one would see. What would I tell them if they saw? I didn’t even know what was happening myself.
At home, I excused myself to go upstairs to bed, saying I was tired. I stayed there until the tears stopped, wiped my face, and went downstairs immediately to call Bill.
“I want you to tell me how the chakras work,” I said. “I want a lecture.”
The next day, I drove 1 hour to his house deep in the woods, and got my lecture. Then he asked what I wanted next. “To feel the Kundalini flow,” I said, naïvely.
“How do you plan to do that?” he asked.
“Sit in the traditional Kundalini pose,” I said, again naïvely.
“What do you mean by that?”
“You know,” I said a little awkwardly. “Like the sculpture, where the man’s sitting cross-legged and the woman is sitting on his lap, and their hands are raised, palms touching.”
I had traveled extensively in India and had seen these sculptures everywhere in life and books.
“You don’t know me,” he said, his voice trailing off.
“I know, but from the moment I met you, I knew you would never hurt me. Ever.” And I really did and still do.
True to that thought, he took me out on the back lawn, on a blanket, and taught me about the chakras. I learned where they were, their colors, how they spin, how you move energy through them to clear yourself, how he could move his chakras into mine, and how I could move mine into his, and how we could merge our chakras in between us (we were not, as it turned out, not sitting on each others laps of course!). I learned how we could move energy through each others chakras in various patterns.
All sense of time completely disappeared during this lesson, which was only about one hour.
At the end, he got up, backed away, and told me to tell him when I didn’t feel him anymore. About 50 feet later, I said, “I think I don’t feel you anymore.”
“That,” he said, “is the size of YOUR energy field. It’s huge. You have a gift you are unaware of.”
Ok, that explained a lot. A LOT, I now know, of my unhappiness.
“I can teach you how to use it,” he said, “if you follow everything I say. What I will teach you is YOUR gift, not mine. ‘They’, what works with you, will show me how to teach you what you have. You have to promise you will not read a book, unless I tell you what to read. Books are just other people’s idea of the truth. What you have is not written anywhere.”
I spent the next three years mostly learning from Bill remotely, by phone and email discussion and instruction.
What I learned was not a 12 step anything, not a series of modular classes, not a brand name.
Typing was excruciating for him, so emails were short and cryptic … to be deciphered. I visited two and once three times a year. But the rest was a big fat experiment in gaining truth and awareness on my own. I began to learn about what I would now call living in the Quantum Entanglements Reality, where we are part of forces beyond which we can see making contributions to this world. Indeed, my initial plea to the Universe set off changes to come in my life through those very quantum entanglements.
I learned what my true power is, what I contribute to the world that is uniquely me. That is what gives me joy and ease in life … and I am forever grateful for what happened just by asking for it.
It was a process of accumulating knowledge that brings me to the amalgamation of practices that access what I call The Simple Body. It was a process of experiencing myself and then teaching others to see how much power actually resides inside our bodies and helping them realize our energy and awareness allows us to know our individual potency and contribution to this world.
Do I have a gift other’s may not?
What I do know is that my power is uniquely mine and yours is uniquely yours. Not everyone is meant to do what I do. I am not meant to build bridges and planes – you wouldn’t want me to! But I do know that everything Bill taught me on the blanket in his backyard I already knew how to do … it was obvious and one of the first things he told me. I just had to become aware of what I knew. And it is quite likely you are more powerful than you believe.
We always encounter our teachers for a reason.
Mine was to chart a course without a map. It was an isolated path with no colleagues and no buddy to experiment with because everything I came across or uncovered, no one else had heard of. I was lonely and ridiculed as much as I was excited and had curious followers. There were mostly no books and all observation, sensation, intuition, and guidance. Not much different the science of discovery and invention.
And yet, as I came to learn my gift and incorporate those of the teachers I met along the way, I realized I wasn’t alone. Their paths had been much the same.