Did a workshop last week with my brother and friend Brad Keeney, a visionary psychologist, anthropologist, and jazz musician whose healing journey has taken him many places, including to the Bushmen of the Kalahari in Namibia. The workshop was entitled “The Dancing Healers,” and we each told our stories about the importance of getting out of your head and into your heart, if you’re interested in maximizing your healing power.
The Bushmen taught Brad their “shaking medicine,” and they could see his ability to be moved by the energy they call “the Big Love.” They saw him “pierced by the arrow of the Big Love”, feel the Spirit, and transmit that energy to others.
For a long time I have known that if you can’t dance you can’t heal, ever since I met Santiago, a well-known Pueblo medicine man over 40 years ago. I asked Santiago if he would teach me how to dance the way he did, and he answered, “I can teach you my steps but you have to be able to hear your own music.” As a healer, I have danced and let the music flow through me to open a channel of healing power and love; I’ve even learned to hear the music a different way.
But, I have never danced the way Brad does — the energy flows through him (what he calls “working the spirit”) until it makes him quiver and utter guttural sounds. When he is filled with that energy he has to share it with someone. Truth is . . . it scares me to be that out of control. I am a product of Western medical training where our healing practices seek to explain, predict and control outcomes. An unfortunate result, however, is that we deaden the expression of how we can connect with patients. I am more comfortable analyzing the process before experiencing it, which keeps me from truly feeling it.
During the workshop, we felt the vibes of the drumbeat and the blessing of sacred objects. We danced together into the early morning, hearing our own music and letting go to become a channel for loving energy.
And as I write this, I know many of you will think this too fluffy and that I must have been bitten by an infected Tsetse fly, but this is my story and I’m sticking to it. If you are willing to open up a channel to your unconscious mind, you can also hear the music that receives and offers healing love.