In a galaxy far, far away, where the stars and the moon collide, and the heavens are vast and wide, exists an immense realm of knowledge where everything that ever was moves and vibrates. Where we are one divine energetic entity pulsating into the rhythm of now, where we never start or end – where we only continue, and where the energy of love is the only thing that matters. Do you believe me – or – have I lost you?
I am a clinically trained psychotherapist (LCSW -social worker) specializing in trauma and interpersonal wounds – focusing on the relationship with my people and love as the bridge to healing and growth. The wellness industry, which therapy is a part of, offers many healing modalities and ways to connect to yourself and grow through pain. During the last several decades of psychology – weaving spirituality into traditional practice has been a somewhat touchy subject. On one end, we have the energy workers, the reiki masters, the consciousness-shifting coaches, and hypnotherapists – the so-called new age and “woo woo” ways of healing. On the other end of the spectrum are the theologians deeply rooted in theory, evidence-based practice – practical skill, and scientific data. Most fall in the middle of the spectrum – not fully discrediting the “woo woo” but sticking to what is practical and can be measured.
Alternate Ways of Healing
Reiki, past life regression, hypnotherapy, shamanic journey, and psychedelics (Ayahuasca retreats, psilocybin, etc.) are all considered “alternate” ways of holistic healing in the clinical realm and have actually been part of our world for a long time. Those who use these “alternate” modalities in their practice are sometimes seen as “out there” or “hippies” and perhaps not taken as seriously as those of us who have gone to prestigious schools, earned degrees, and spent years in clinical settings. Oddly enough, these practices have been around longer than any of our schools or clinical settings and are rooted in deep ancient traditions that have been around for centuries – such as the indigenous healing modalities of Peru or Central and South America, to name a few, which focus on the integration of body, mind, and spirit.
As most stories go, the growth path is usually laden with personal heartache and desperation to fix the pain, to make it stop, or to find a way to more fulfillment and creating prosperity. That is what so many people who come to see us psychotherapists hope for. Some want practical tools to “deal with life,” some just want an ear to listen, and many want to find meaning in the years of trauma they have lived through and to make sense of their lives. Several years ago, I became one of those people desperate to find a way out of the daily rut of suffering. After several unfortunate incidents, I was bereft and floating in a sea of heartache. Of course, I went the traditional route first of therapy and tried to apply all the cognitive techniques and interventions I possibly could. Late one night, while scrolling through YouTube in a daze of desperation, I stumbled upon videos pertaining to energy, frequency, consciousness, and thought transference. Thus (of course, haphazardly) began a personal odyssey into realms of my mind, heart, and soul that still transfix me to this day. In typical Anna fashion, I began to read and consume everything I could find. My meditation practice deepened, and I learned how to use my powerful third eye chakra (or the pineal gland) to tune my internal antenna and find ways to connect to myself and the world around and above me in ways I could never imagine. Life became more interesting – synchronicities and serendipitous events abound. Were they always there, and did I become more aware and start to notice?
You Start to Notice
Something quite interesting happens when you find yourself in the midst of personal transformation. You start to notice more people that feel exactly the same as you – or the Universe tends to throw them in your path as a way to push you along and keep going further. I longed to find a way to incorporate everything that I had learned and this spiritual way of connecting in my work with my people – without them running for the hills because they thought their therapist had lost her mind. To my surprise, what I found was the complete opposite. All of a sudden, I was struck by how many people that were in this “traditional” therapy with me – started dropping hints here and there about “having psychic powers,” “communicating and feeling the spiritual realm,” or “auras, energy levels,” “past lives,” etc. Some people I had been working with for years, and I had no knowledge of their soul and spirit connections, began to share – sighing heavily in a form of relief when they revealed something that they thought was “out there.” Asking me: “Do you think I’m crazy? Are you going to have me committed?” I breathed a sigh of relief when I told them this type of crazy was very welcome here. Was I seeing more people this way because of coincidence or because my own spiritual heart center was open, and I finally noticed that which was there all along?
One day in mid-September, I was having a particularly challenging, stress-laden day of endless phone calls, things that were not going right, and kids’ sports activities that seemed to be one on top of the other, and I was frustrated, tired, and simply DONE. As I dragged the portable lawn chair across the soccer field of my son’s game, sweaty and thirsty, I plopped down in exhaustion. Suddenly I noticed a wispy feather fall from some obscure place in the sky and slowly make its way down and fall right in front of my feet. “Oh my goodness!” I squealed, “A feather! This is a sign! It means – take a deep breath, Anna, everything will be all right.” My youngest son saw me excited and rolled his eyes at me and my adoration for signs and metaphors. I took the feather and shoved it in my pocketbook – amongst the other various pennies and crystals I’ve collected as “signs”!
The following day I was sitting in session with one of my dear clients who was talking to me about her excitement at finding a connection that seemed to appreciate her innate love for the whimsical, extra-sensory perceptions and a belief that magic is all around us. I leaned in to listen and connect to her words, simultaneously preoccupied with my thoughts of yesterday. I pictured that wispy feather falling from the sky the day before and then tuned back into the words of what my client was saying. “I can do magic, you know!” she said. “Sometimes I drop hints – like a penny, you may find on your pillow or a feather falling out of the sky to let you know everything will be fine.” I gasped! “What did you say?” She looked at me with startled eyes. I couldn’t believe her words. I was dumbstruck and in awe. Tears welled up in my eyes. I took a deep gulp. Should I share what just happened or leave my client just as lost and confused as I was? Ah – clinical impasse. I took a deep breath, looked at her, and told her what happened yesterday and how what she just said was proof that she does magic! Carl Jung would call this a synchronicity – “the coincidental occurrence of events and especially psychic events that seem related but are not explained by conventional mechanisms of causality” (Merriam-Webster). The attunement between us hanging in the air as a form of defenseless, unexplainable connection. The smile on her face widened, and the sparkle in her eyes held my gaze. That moment when you feel the other, and the other is “feeling felt” – the unspoken moment in relational attunement and, in this case, pure magic.
How Do We Harness the Secret Magic of the Mystics?
What happens to us when we feel connected in this way? When we find ways to extend our energy outward and harness it to feel with others, heal others, spread to the outer realms of existence and back again. How do we harness the secret magic of the mystics and apply it to our individualistic, fast-paced, result-based modern world? When we really tap into the outer realms of our limitless mind, harness the energy that lives within us to move uncomfortable emotions, and then push this knowing outside of ourselves to realize that we are all just one. Can incorporating these practices enhance our work with our people and help us connect on a deeper and more spiritual level?
There is one aspect that feels uniting in most areas of study (neurobiology, spirituality, psychology, etc.) that we cannot deny – the power of connection – to oneself, others, and the world at large. We can spend years speaking to the people who come in and out of our offices, rehashing their week’s activities, revisiting old wounds, and turning through past traumas. There is beauty and majesty in this process. When the harmonies align, and the relationship hums through the pain, the laughter, and love, and the symphony emerges, our work’s real beauty starts to sing. Taking this a step further would allow people to harness the magic within them or believe they have it. Be it through symbolic imagery, dreams, rituals, or all the divine frequency pulsating through every morsel of our being, it can and does bring healing through a higher realm of consciousness.
Everything is Energy
Call it “woo-woo” or sophisticated mechanics. Still, many scientists in quantum physics and even Einstein himself stated that “Energy cannot be created or destroyed; it can only be changed from one form to another” – everything is energy. Dr. Brian Weiss translated this so beautifully in his profound books on the many dimensions of life and life after death. The Yale-educated, classically trained, evidence-based scholar and psychiatrist mistakenly discovered an entirely different realm of healing by regressing his patients to their past lives and transforming them by recognizing the karmas and lessons, trials and tribulations they may have carried over from other lifetimes. Through these discoveries, he found different ways to help his patients and tapped into his own truth, knowing, and vast understanding of the universe and beyond. “When you look into the eyes of another, any other, and you see your own soul looking back at you, then you will know that you have reached another level of consciousness” (Weiss, 1997). Can carrying this knowledge aid us in our healing work with our people and deepen our connection with them? Of course, my answer is a resounding yes! It allows us to humble ourselves and realize that the other sitting across from us is not separate and is not different – they are a part of you, you are a part of them – when our souls recognize each other, it means that we are one.
“Love is the strongest force on the earth – everything else is an illusion” he learns this from his patient’s regressions: “Only love is real.” —Dr. Brian Weiss
I am not suggesting that aligning to the mystical is for everyone or that we have to weave it into all our client interactions and push them to find their spiritual center to heal. But we cannot discount it either or minimize its importance in the lives of our people and our own – to grow, to heal, and transcend. We must harness our individuality but understand that continued healing occurs when we awaken to our oneness and realize that there is no separation. That humanity is like snow – each snowflake falling from the sky – unique, special, and distinct but coming together as one entity – only to change, melt, evaporate, and continue the process of gracing the planet with new rare snowflakes – never starting, never ending – only continuing. As much pain and heartache as we witness on a daily basis, and as hopeless as it can sometimes get in our quest to help others move through suffering, there is a part of me – and I hope all of us, that never stops believing in the power of the human spirit to evolve. We call this power love, and I hope that we all get to feel its magic.
Merriam-Webster. (n.d.). Citation. In the Merriam-Webster.com dictionary. Retrieved March 15, 2023, from https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/synchronicity
Weiss, B. L. (1997). Only Love is Real. Grand Central Publishing.
I grew up in the Soviet Republic of Georgia and came to the United States as a refugee in 1989. My parents both changed their careers from their initial jobs in my country of origin, and both worked in mental health – my mother was a social worker, and my father a drug and alcohol counselor. They dedicated their lives to helping others – and still do. I felt that this path was inside of me – which is why after 10-plus years of marketing in NYC, I returned to school, received a master’s degree in social work, and became an LCSW. I worked in in-patient psychiatric settings, IOP/PHP, and currently have my own practice in Little Silver, NJ. This is not just a job for me but a way of life – I value and hold so incredibly dear the amazing people I have met along this journey to teach and guide me. These people are my clients – I firmly believe that we must allow our clients to change us – because part of their journey is ours too, and through that mutual transformation, we have the power to heal and grow. I am also raising three young boys, I love to cook, write, collect rocks and crystals, meditate, and be an archeologist of the heart–searching, learning, and exploring the messy nature of human beings is eternally fascinating! To contact me, please visit > https://www.heartconnectionsnj.com