Many of my clients come to me in an attempt to understand the meaning behind their particular life experiences. They are, like many of us, on a spiritual journey and are searching for deeper meaning in their lives. They are drawn to receive healing work when some type of crisis has occurred, effectively blasting through the limitations of their current thoughts and beliefs. When a crisis occurs, such as the death of a loved one, the diagnosis of a serious illness, or the birth of a child with a disability, we are given the opportunity for spiritual evolution.

We all come into this life with certain lessons to learn, lessons that we choose before we are born. We are given many opportunities to move forward on our Soul's journey. Our free will determines whether we accept these opportunities or not. If we choose not to take advantage of them in this life, then we may have another opportunity in the next. We breeze through some opportunities, which are called positive learning experiences, while others are real whoppers. Those experiences prompt us to ask, "what did I do to deserve this?" These negative or difficult learning experiences are not punishments, but are opportunities to move forward in leaps and bounds.

We've all known people who have made pre-birth choices to live in very difficult life circumstances. Mattie Stepanek (1990-2004) is a shining example in our lifetime of a highly evolved Soul being who lived for only a short period of time; but in that short time, he transformed the lives of countless people and raised the vibration of the planet. He chose to do this through negative or difficult life experiences; by living a life of physical pain and suffering. But if you ever met Mattie, you knew beyond the shadow of a doubt that we are not just physical bodies. Mattie's light was so bright that he could have been the poster child for the concept of a "big spiritual being housed in a little physical body".

Many times, clients come to me struggling with the meaning of a specific personal experience. People make a serious mistake, in my opinion, by focusing on the circumstances rather than the outcome of difficult life situations. For example, a client who develops lung cancer may think they are taking the spiritual path by trying to figure out the reason why the lungs were affected, as opposed to another body part. They may search through New Age books and websites, only to find that the lungs are the seat of depression and grief, and wonder if they failed to grieve enough when their father died, or if they grieved too much. They may come to the conclusion, maybe even with the help of a therapist, that they are responsible in some way for manifesting this tragic illness. They may believe that they brought it on themselves, either by doing something they shouldn't have done, or by failing to do something they should have done. Many New Age theories would have you look at each body part as a metaphor and try to deconstruct why the problem occurred there; the idea that "the issues are in the tissues". This is not a spiritual approach to healing, it is a mental one; and it is not very far removed from the Western Medical Model. I believe that this approach is not helpful, and can actually be harmful. It leaves people feeling responsible for creating their illness and fails to give them tools for healing.

In a spiritual approach to healing, which I am a strong proponent of, the specific circumstances don't matter; it's how you react to the experience that counts. For example, if you developed lung cancer, you could go beyond the initial anger and fear and open your heart to deeper levels of compassion; compassion for yourself, for others, and ultimately for all of existence. You could take that experience as an opportunity to make a deeper connection to all life, and in that moment, you would become whole, which is the essence of healing. Would your body automatically be cured of the cancer? Maybe; or maybe not. The goal isn't about curing an illness or the survival of the physical form. You may even die as a result of the illness, but you would have gained so much spiritual ground and moved forward on your evolutionary path, which is the ultimate goal. In the end, we don’t always know what the Divine plan is, but we have to trust that all is in Divine order and that the plan is unfolding as it should.