Lau-Tzu said,"If you would take, you must first give." This is a very basic law of the universe, yet one that eludes many. I remember being bullied in Junior High and then, later, taking up martial arts. My instructor, also an accomplished acupuncturist and practitioner of Chinese Medicine, asked me why I wanted to learn how to hurt and possibly kill. My response was that I no longer wanted to feel weak and vulnerable around those who would bully me about and possibly beat the bejeebers out of me as they had in the past. He said two things that really stuck. The first thing that he said was,"If you embark on a journey of revenge, you must remember to dig two graves." The second was, "before you can learn to kill, you must learn to heal."
Having been raised with pagan thought systems, the idea of giving before receiving was something that I understood. I was told by my grandmother to always send prayers of gratitude before I received what I desired. Thus, the Goddess would understand that I already have within me that which I desire, and would then respond by bringing more of the same to me. But when it was put into the context of learning to heal before learning how to kill, it quite frankly floored me. Suddenly it all made sense. Had the bullies in my life learned how to heal before they learned how to torment and possibly kill, they would not have even embarked upon the path of bullying! Thus began my training in martial arts. Yes, I had a natural talent because I learned as a young person how to "street fight" and that made me exceptionally resourceful. But my interest soon became an obsession with the healing aspect. I learned many methods and avenues of helping people to heal. Energetically, there is so much that can be influenced in the mental, emotional, physical and spiritual bodies that the results are often profound. At the same time, you cannot learn how to simulate, say, the liver meridian without also learning how to hinder it, causing great pain and illness. Knowledge is the accumulation of information. Wisdom is the appropriate usage thereof.
So I learned how to protect myself. But what was most important was that I learned how to heal myself. I was able to let go of all those aspects of my personal history that no longer served my well-being and embrace aspects that do. I became an energetic adaptogen and in doing so I opened myself to becoming a shaman. That was a title that I resisted for years. It is one that I now wear with great honor. In an age when there are a lot of popcorn elders and shamans emerging from the woodwork, it is important to know that there are some, like myself, who work with honor and integrity. Those who are like myself I embrace with great love and appreciation. Those who are not don't last long enough to worry about.