BODY PSYCHOMETRY: Physical Self as Map of Soul-Psyche

I sat in the receiving room of a small Sufi learning center comfortably waiting for its manager to join me. The subtle scent of jasmine incense mingled with the sounds of Native flutes on a CD being played for a small class of yoga students stretching in the next room. I had come to do a reading for "Willow," a tall, delicate boned woman, an artist and spiritual teacher in her own right. Willow was interested in having me teach a class in what I call "body psychometry" at the center, and wanted to receive a sample personal reading from me first. I had agreed, glad to share my gift for knowing a person, especially to assist healing and growth, by reading the memories and knowledge stored in their bodies, in the DNA itself. This body reading would be a prelude to the creation of a class to teach and inspire others.

Willow's eyes smiled through a weariness difficult to conceal, her heart heavy behind her professional, congenial manner, and bright colored attire. She wore sweeping goddess skirts, layered blouses and a Native bandanna around her long dark hair. "Sorry to keep you waiting," she mustered.

Following instincts, I took her hands gently in mine. Our eyes locked in a steady, anticipating gaze. Immediately I saw an image of an injured black bird, its left wing badly hurt, limping along a wooded path. My gaze fastened onto its wing, which the bird was telling me was not broken, but rendered it unable to fly. My attention was also pulled to its legs, the strain placed on them in the effort to get around in this disabled fashion. Instinctively, albeit unconsciously, the bird was trying to find balance in its hobble, even by means of hobbling.

Willow's eyes shone: "The raven is my totem animal," she said. My yard is full of them. And, I am walking with a bit of a limp since I sprained my ankle last week!" Confirmation: We were onto something.

I looked again into the scene before my inner eyes to interpret it, to receive a Message for Willow -and as I've learned through years of doing this work - for myself as well, for my own spiritual growth and healing. Sometimes this is accomplished by asking questions of the client, or with their input: sometimes not. Willow, being a psychic herself, was both a deep receiver and giver of information, consciously assisting the process.

What we pulled from the reading was the clear knowledge that her spirit was injured, limping. Her direction on the path of her life was tenuous, hesitant, anxious about further injury or pain. Called into question clearly was her job at the center, the physical and mental exhaustion associated with her sense of her duties there, coupled with a restlessness that followed her around, day after day. "I'm homesick," she confessed. "I really miss northern California, and I really miss the freedom to travel. And I'm lonesome as hell." Like the raven seen in dreamtime, Willow was presently unable to fly, hobbling along in her life; but she also had the inherent capacity to heal, to be well. -To fly again.

Together, via the reading, we came up with these immediate prescriptions for nurturing body and soul: I would provide her with "emotional release" bodywork, hands on "energy" work, and counseling for her Path. Her local chiropractor would check out her feet, ankles and spine to any needed adjustments. Ice pack on the sprain, sensual, warm mineral baths for muscles and feminine spirit, along with some extra nutritional supplements seemed in order. Finally, Willow would make "time outs" for going deeply within to find her next steps by "prayer walking" in the woods.

Four weeks later, I taught my introductory class, Willow present, feeling much relieved, walking normally with a lilt in her step. Two months later Willow called me with thanks and news: she had given two weeks notice on her job, had met a wonderful man -a spiritual teacher visiting the center - and the two of them were heading back to northern California together, to take her back 'home.' She was radiant with happiness and anticipation. She was flying again.

So was I.